mother-daughter brain tumors

Exactly two weeks after my surgery, my dad called me. “You’re not going to believe this. Are you sitting down?” he asked. 

That morning, my mom had woken up to balance and vision problems worse than she had experienced. With the increased headaches she had been having in mind, she told my dad she needed to go to the ER.

After several tests — all the same tests that were run on me — the doctors told her they believed she had a brain tumor. And they believed it was a meningioma — a usually-benign tumor growing from the lining of the brain. Just like mine, but in a different location.


I’m not sure I was really so shocked. It quickly made sense to me that God would give me Dan to walk me through my experience and my experience (and my dad) to comfort my mom as she walked through hers.

He knows what we can handle, and He does not give us more. He knows what we need, and He does not give us less. 

My mom’s treatment took a bit of a different path. My hometown is small, so she was transferred to a larger hospital for evaluation and admitted overnight. She was discharged for several days to go home, rest, and attend a few appointments with doctors. Due to the location of her tumor and a few other factors, her surgery was to be slightly more complicated than mine. 

She had surgery on Thursday morning. I received updates from my dad throughout the day and posted updates for my mom’s friends to read. The doctors were able to remove 100% of her tumor! She does have some peripheral vision issues that have not yet resolved themselves, but we’re hopeful they will.

She skipped the ICU (jealous!) and improved quickly and steadily. She was discharged on Saturday, and I have to tell you: She’s doing better right now than I was at this point!

She is awesome, and I love her and respect her so much. Leading up to and now after her surgery, she has shared very openly about the existence of God and His goodness. She has reached out to others who have experienced more challenging health issues. She has sacrificed worldly possessions for those who will get more use out of them during her recovery time. She has called me, concerned about how I’m doing and when my next appointment is.

So, it’s been a weird few weeks. Really weird. Weird mixed with crazy mixed with surreal mixed with a little bit of scary. But not outside the realm of God’s sovereignty over our lives and bodies and health and surgery outcomes. 

I didn’t share this earlier, because I wanted to let my mom tell her story to friends and family as it was playing out. I’ve learned how therapeutic it is to share your own stories and receive direct encouragement from others!

  • Oh Natalie, I could not be more proud of the daughter God gave me! In reality, I was an insecure, intimidated, fearful young woman, when I became your mom, and God gave me you as one of the first doses of needing to grow up in Him, – to learn what faith and trust are really all about. I’m afraid I did NOT rise to His challenges well or nearly enough in those early years, and only went screaming and kicking, saying “I can’t do this God!” You are LIGHT YEARS ahead of your old mama in this faith and trust department, my dear, and I couldn’t have picked a better partner and friend to walk down this road with! I get to love you into eternity and longer, and there is nothing better in heaven or on earth than that.

    • natalie

      thanks for the encouragement, Mom! I’m happy we get to learn from each other throughout our lives!

  • Wow, what a story! Beautiful reply from your mother 🙂 God Bless.

    • natalie

      thanks, Tamara!

  • Oh my goodness, Natalie, I’ve been a bit behind in reading any blogs but I just saw this about your mom. I’m so very sorry for what your family has been going through but I’m rejoicing with you that both you and your mom and doing so well! God’s ways are hard to understand sometime, that we certainly know, but it’s amazing to see the strange and wonderful ways He works in our lives. Lifting you and your mom up in prayer and praying for quick, full recoveries for both of you!

    • natalie

      Madison, thank you for the prayers! we’re both doing well, but I still feel a little worry creep in from time to time. no doubt trusting in God is going to be a life-long experience.