Single Mom Life With A Brain Tumor

Single Mom Life With A Brain Tumor

Imagine tripping over a baby gate, ending up in the ER with a concussion and bruised ribs, and the emergency room doctor informing you he found a brain tumor on your CT scan.

This is how my Mother’s Day weekend went last year.

Single Mom Life With A Brain TumorI was promptly admitted to the hospital where I became all business, making calls and arranging 24/7 childcare for my kids over the next week in a town where I had almost no family and trying to process what would come next. I had my best friend bring my kids, 8 and 14 then, to me at the hospital so I could explain to them what was going on and why I wouldn’t be home for a while. My youngest and I were still co-sleeping so I FaceTimed her every night until she fell asleep. I downloaded the book we were reading together and she read along with her copy at home. In between figuring out who my kids would go to, when, and for how long, I was meeting with neurosurgery. I was put on blood thinners after they found a blood clot in my brain and then was taken off them because it resolved.

I didn’t have time to be terrified, I had to figure out how to keep my kids safe and reassured that Mom was coming home.

I relied on friends, paid sitters, and my aunt, the only family I had close to town. I knew on my last day in the hospital that my oldest was not taking the situation well. I’ve done my best to help both the kids process and keep things positive at home, but it’s been isolating for all of us. In the nearly year since, I’ve struggled to maintain a support system that could handle another hospital stay and although the tumor is slow growing and it’s a lot of wait and see, the more I exhibit symptoms, the more urgently I want to have that support system. Brain surgery will require months of recovery and I won’t be independent for a while during that time. Single Mom Life With A Brain TumorAfter many emotional phone calls with my mom, sister, and cousin in Austin, I decided it was imperative that I be close to them so they could take turns caring for me and helping with my kids as I seek treatment for the tumor.

Moving after falling so far behind in bills due to a week-long hospital stay, feels incredibly scary but I know we have to do it. So, I started organizing ways to raise the funds and suddenly I was confronted by what the Lafayette community is – an experience altogether unique from anywhere else I’ve ever been.

I’m going to miss it here.

The way people genuinely connect and the culture. Leaving Lafayette is going to break my heart but I also know I am so lost without my family. My kids really need their Gigi, Tauntie, and cousins. I hope that the fundraisers I’m organizing bring out all the best of Lafayette, and that people see how incredible our local small business owners and entertainers are. I hope my efforts bring everyone closer together and that I’ll get to experience the authentic Acadiana community one more time before I leave.

I’ll be leaving a piece of myself here in the Hub City.

About The Author

Single Mom Life With A Brain TumorAnnette Walters is a work at home, single mom and homeschools her kids. She and her kids enjoy walking and skateboarding around the Saint Street neighborhoods and the downtown area. She is a voracious reader and passionate about learning as a lifestyle. It’s her dream to attain an MA in Journalism at UT-Austin and find a hybrid sweet spot working in an academic library part time and freelance writing remotely.