April Chapman

I was diagnosed with a Grade II Astrocytoma at age 28. I'm a wife and mother of 2 and a SURVIVOR!

On December 22, 2010, I was on an airplane flying to Houston with my husband and two children to celebrate Christmas with our extended family in Texas.  It was late in the evening and both of our kids were sleeping in our arms.  My daughter, Mallory (3.5 years old at the time), was asleep in my husband's lap, while my son, Mason (15 months at the time), was sound asleep in my arms.  Shortly after beginning our descent into Houston, I had a seizure. 

Upon landing, the EMS took me to the hospital where I underwent lots of tests. Finally, I had a MRI which showed a mass on my brain, which was most likely benign.  I remember the neurosurgeon coming in after that, but honestly I don't remember what he said. 

I stayed in the hospital for two days and then was able to leave for 4 days to "celebrate Christmas" and then return for surgery on the 29th, one week after THE flight.  I don't think I realized that my mass was actually a brain tumor at that point.  I see pictures from Christmas that year, but I don't really remember it.  My official diagnosis was Grade II Astrocytoma, and I was 28 years old.  {Houston pathologist said Astrocytoma Grade II, but then Detroit pathologist said Oligodendroglioma Grade II, so I then had a 1p19q analysis done, which showed that I do not have the deletion that is present in 70% of oligos... which really didn't help one way or the other... so I guess it depends on the pathologist!}

On December 29th I had an awake craniotomy and a "complete resection" was achieved. 

Fast forward 2+ years... I have been going in for MRIs and exams every 4 months for the last 2 years and so far I have not had any signs of recurrence.  If all is well at my next appointment in March then I will get to space out my visits to every 6 months.  I am still taking anticonvulsant medication (after having a few minor seizures in the weeks following my surgery, my doctors recommended this as a prophylaxis).  My hair  has mostly all grown back in, except for a few small areas  where there is scar tissue.  Not a day goes by where I don't think of my brain tumor or think about recurrence.  At the same time, I celebrate every day that I get to spend with my family. 

Jeremiah 29:11