Desiree is a young lady age 22 just starting life, but for her life paused. Desiree was working at a part-time job till they closed the stores. Then she found out she had a fairly large brain tumor. Several months before this she had constant headaches that would not go away or stop.
When you find out this type of news one of the first thoughts, is it cancerous? When the doctors say the only solution is surgery within a few months and unsure when surgery will be it is hard to enroll in college classes or look for a new job until you know what to expect.
In July 2016 Desiree started having constant headaches. At first they weren’t painful, but they never let up. Thinking it was maybe food allergy related or would be cured by eating better Desiree tried to eliminate most foods, nothing had an effect. There wasn’t a moment of the day that went by when Desiree did not have constant pressure in her head. Many of those days she had very strong headaches.
It took several months to get into a doctor since she was a new patient and had to be on a wait list. After talking to the doctor and trying pills to relieve the headaches an MRI test was scheduled and was completed December 2016. It was discovered that Desiree had a good sized brain tumor located on the brain stem in the pons area. This area of the brain controls major brain functions and balance.
In January 2017 Desiree was able to get an appointment with the local neurosurgeon. Desiree and I (her Mom) went to the neurosurgeon appointment and was told it was possibly schwannoma, ependymoma, or meningioma. Also we were told most of the tumors in this area of the brain are benign and the shape of the tumor suggests that it is benign. I pray that it is, but we won’t know for sure until a biopsy. Also Desiree was told young people her age, 22 don’t have brain tumors. The neurosurgeon recommended surgery to remove the tumor. Since the local hospital doesn’t have all the specialized equipment needed for her type of brain surgery Desiree was sent to UNM Hospital in Albuquerque. We understood the surgery would be maybe in a month or two at the latest.
There is a main artery and two main nerves next to the tumor which makes it a very serious surgery. The neurosurgeon said they will not be able to remove all of the tumor due to the location and most likely she would have yearly MRI’s to confirm that it doesn’t come back. She may also have to have radiation to treat the remaining brain tumor.
Desiree’s appointment had to be rescheduled three times. Once the surgeon had an emergency surgery. She finally saw the Neurosurgeon and an ear nose specialists on February 10th. Desiree was told that she needed another MRI about 3 months from her previous MRI, so they could determine how much the tumor was growing and its growth rate. At the next appointment Desiree had another MRI and met with the neurosurgeon and Ear, Nose Specialist March 10th.
Desiree’s surgery is finally scheduled for May 2, 2017.
Since January 2017, the brain tumor has made it harder each week to function normally. Much of Desiree’s life the last few months has been on hold. She is unable to work or go to college. The brain tumor is greatly affecting her sleep, and normal functions. She is unable to get comfortable and fall asleep. The last two months her headaches have been stronger and none of the pain pills from the doctor help relieve any of the pain. Once Desiree threw up due to extremely painful headaches that turned into a migraine. It is very hard to sleep or function normally when her head constantly throbs. The doctor recommended a sleep study, which determined the tumor was the cause of her difficulty to sleep normally.
We do not know how our family is going to cover the cost of this surgery for Desiree much less gas and motel cost for UNM surgery in Albuquerque May 2, 2017. Her Dad was one of the oil field drilling guys that lost their job. Albuquerque is hours away from home, so we have to stay at a motel.
Due to Desiree’s headaches and discovering she has to have surgery to remove the brain tumor she can’t afford any healthcare plan. After her healing from the surgery she may have to have physical therapy if removing the tumor affects her balance or other complications occur. Also she may have to undergo radiation since the Doctors said they will not be able to remove all of the brain tumor.
We are asking for help to cover costs of gas, and lodging during Desiree’s surgery and future Dr. appointments. Also help to cover cost for her families lodging the week or week and a half that Desiree will be in the hospital in Albuquerque. Our family is on the wait list for the Casa House in Albuquerque which makes cost of the stay $40 a night if we are able to get a room.
Thank you to everyone for already having Desiree and our family on your prayer lists. That means a whole lot.
I have not been someone to ask for help financially, but this is that time for us. If you can’t help financially please keep Desiree in your prayers. The funds raised will go toward the travel expenses (hotel, gas, etc,) medicines or additional medical tests needed. Also there is a local fund at Citizens Bank under Desiree Stinemetze’s name if you wish to donate there.
Updates will be posted here after her surgery. Thank you.
Thursday 5/4/17 Surgery went well. Recovery is slow. Results from biopsy: tumor is benign and Cat scan looked good.