Kim W.

One Day at a Time

Kim Wallgren

Name:  Kimberly Wallgren
Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
Role: Daughter of Ependymoma Survivor
 

Nothing could have prepared me for July 17, 2002; the day I found out my Dad had a large tumor in his brain. My heart sank even deeper into my stomach when we were told it was a rare form of cancer, ependymoma. I knew this journey wouldn’t be easy and the variety of possible outcomes consumed my every thought.

Since that day, in total my Dad has undergone two brain surgeries, two rounds of intense chemo, and one round of radiation. Watching my parents navigate this horrible road tears at my heart. I have cried many tears and endured much fear, but I have also grown to be more compassionate and humble about the gift of life.

Kim WallgrenWhat I’ve learned

There are many things I want to share to try and help others going through the same thing. On the top of the list is the importance of creating a true partnership with your medical team. This will be one of the most important relationships in your life. I also learned that you have to take one day at a time. For me, approaching life with this outlook helps to manage the painful moments and experience the happy ones to the fullest. Finally, there are side effects from treatment and some can be hard to deal with. Don’t keep these mental and physical changes a secret…communicate with your medical team and your loved ones. Sometimes there are great solutions that can make things a bit better.

I don’t know what the future has in store, no one does, but what I do know is I thank God for today and the blessings that have been bestowed upon my family. Keep the hope alive…six years later my Dad was able to welcome his second grandchild into the world!