As we prepare for the San Diego Brain Tumor Walk this Saturday, I felt it I should re-post this story about my wife Karon and how we discovered her brain tumor. It has now been 9 years since we found out about it and Karon is doing amazing. Her last scan looked great and our family is so blessed.
Even though it was over 3 years ago, we remember it like it was yesterday-Karon suddenly developed double vision and started getting headaches. At first we thought it was her eyes/contacts, so she went to see her eye doctor. From that visit we started to realize it was something bigger. We were referred to a neurologist and Karon got her first CT scan on a Friday afternoon. I remember sitting in the hospital with the kids not knowing and not understanding what was happening. The results were not going to be ready until Monday and we had to wait through the weekend. While it was only two days, it seemed like 100. Instead of waiting for the results via the phone, we decided to pay the doctor a visit first thing Monday morning. This is when we found out that Karon has a benign brain tumor on her brain stem. Once we got the results we were referred to neurosurgeons Dr. David Barba and Dr. Kevin Murphy from the UCSD Medical Center for the next step. We came to find out that the tumor had damaged the optical nerve, therefore causing Karon's double vision. We also learned that brain tumors are more common than people realize. Our next step was for Karon to get stereotactic radiosurgery. Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is a form of radiation therapy that concentrates high doses of radiation on very precise areas. Unlike other forms of radiation therapy, stereotactic radiosurgery better focuses the radiation beams on the abnormal cells, and limits impact of nearby healthy tissue. This is particularly important in the brain. Our hope was that this would kill the cells and stop the tumor from growing. Dr. Murphy and his team were amazing through this whole process. Once this was complete, Karon had to get CT scans every six months to ensure that the tumor was not growing (she now has yearly scans). During this time she also got eye muscle surgery from the Shiley Eye Center in La Jolla. This was necessary as the optical nerve was permanently damaged from the tumor. This surgery helped correct the double vision she had been living with for more than a year. During this whole process Karon remained strong in faith and in life, and continued to be a great parent, wife and elementary school teacher in Chula Vista. With this tumor never going away, we realize it is a blessing for us. It is a constant reminder of how important life is and how the people around you make such a difference. Our faith and the support of people around us have really helped us understand the bigger picture in life situations. This is why the time is now to share this family story with you. Karon found out about an event coming up on September 21, 2013; it's the San Diego Brain Tumor Foundation Walk. The San Diego Brain Tumor Foundation is a non profit foundation that brings comfort to those who have brain tumors. This comfort and support comes in the form of bringing meals after surgery, helping with medical costs, driving people to doctor appointments, and many other things. We saw how important this is first hand. Maybe you know someone who could benefit by this foundation, or maybe it's a cause that you can get behind. I have enclosed the link for the walk and the link about the type of surgery Karon received. We know this could have been much worse and that people suffer every day. This is why we want to be proactive and use this everyday reminder as a blessing to get the word out to others. Thank you! Joe, Karon, Angelica, Jordan. "The Haze Family" Please visit the links below for more information: