2019 Central Texas

The Morley family in Mexico, December 2018 (photo cred: Brandon Mares)
The Morley family in Mexico, December 2018 (photo cred: Brandon Mares)

Peace of Mind

Thank you for visiting our team page and helping us to reach our fundraising goal!

Our team, Peace of Mind, is joining the fight against brain cancer by participating in Head for the Cure Central Texas on March 31st, 2019. Head for the Cure is dedicated to raising funds and awareness for brain cancer research through the Brain Tumor Trials Collaborative, which includes Texas Oncology - Austin Brain Tumor Center where I am being treated by Dr. Morris Groves and his wonderful team.
I would be honored if you would join our team and walk with me (or run ahead and wait for me at the finish line!)

My story:
2018 was an interesting year, to say the least. Although I have never had the flu before, I was diagnosed with Influenza A in January and then Influenza B in March. The second one hit me the worst and turned into Pneumonia. In addition, I also had a seizure - which was unusual, so they did an MRI of my brain and noticed an abnormality on the scan. At that time, the doctors thought that it might be encephalitis that was caused by the combination of flu/pneumonia. But, they also told me to get an second MRI in 30 days to make sure. If it was encephalitis, then the abnormality would be gone. Unfortunately, that turned out not to be the case. My doctors determined that it actually was a brain tumor and that it needed to be removed. My understanding is that the tumor had been there for a long time, but having the flu twice, plus pneumonia with a really high fever "woke it up," causing the seizure. So the seizure turned out to be a Blessing, because that's what made the doctors look at my brain and find the tumor!

On May 9th, I had surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible (without removing brain cells that I need!) Thanks to Dr. Glenn Harper and the surgical team at Seton Brain & Spine Institute and Seton Medical Center Williamson Hospital, along with all the prayers and positive thoughts from my family and friends, I felt surrounded by peace as I entered the operating room. The surgery was very successful and I was back on my feet (although wobbly and with restrictions) in no time.

After several long weeks of waiting, Dr. Groves confirmed that the tumor was a grade II Oligodendroglioma (with the1p19q co-deletion.) Apparently, if you’re going to have a brain tumor, this is the best kind to have, because it is a very treatable and the treatment is fairly easy to tolerate. My treatment consists twelve 28 days cycles. I take oral chemotherapy medication (Temozolomide) on days 1 -5. As of Jan 2019, I am 1/2 of the way through the treatments! Although uncomfortable and annoying at times, my side effects are fairly mild. I continue to be supported by a wonderful network of family, friends and colleagues who help me get through the rough patches every month.

During this journey, I have met so many others who have been affected by brain tumors/cancer and I know that I am one of the lucky ones. I have been blessed with a wonderful medical team at Texas Oncology. Participating in Head for the Cure is my way of giving back to them, as well as paying it forward to help those who will be diagnosed in the future. ~April Morley

 

I will be walking in memory of Kiarra Petree Vogel, who lost her battle with brain cancer in December 2018.

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