By Stef

Hi, my name is Stefanie and I live in a country town called Dalby in Australia. Today I will share my story with you.

One day in October 2011 my mum noticed that I stopped what I was doing and started pacing backwards and forwards, with a blank look on my face.

This happened a couple of times a week – it even happened at school sometimes.

One day my mum told me what I was doing.

“Stef, you’ve been pacing back and forth with a blank look on your face. I’m a bit worried. Are you ok?”

“What!?” I gasped. What was mum talking about?

“Mum I don’t remember a thing. I don’t remember doing that! Are you sure?” I squeaked like a mouse.

Mum nodded slowly and hugged me.

My heart started beating faster and I got scared.

Then I did the only thing I knew – I started praying.

“Dear Jesus please help me – I’m scared.”

I knew Jesus would make my heart strong so I could be brave and not scared.

Slowly the ‘space-outs’ started to happen more often – it went from a couple of times a week, to every day AND then the worst thing happened – they started happening a FEW times a day!

Mum knew something very bad was happening in my brain and she guessed I was having seizures – But we didn’t know why.

“Honey, we are going to the doctor so he can check what’s wrong.”

I nodded slowly, “Ok.”

That day the doctor did a full check up to see what was wrong with me. He then said that I needed to have an EEG (Electroencephalogram – I didn’t know what it meant and stared at him blankly.

Mum asked the doctor to explain it please.

“It’s a medical test used to measure the electrical activity of your brain.”

“What does that mean?” I asked.

“It means that an EEG will track and record the wave patterns of the brain.”

I nodded, “So will they put something on my head?”

He stood up and walked towards the computer, “Yes.” He said and typed something into google and turned the screen towards mum and I.

 I gasped when I saw what it looked like – it kind of looked like a helmet with all coloured wires coming out.

“These metal discs with the thin wires are placed on your scalp and then it sends signals to the computer and records what happens in the brain.”

“Will it hurt?” I asked.

The doctor smiled kindly, “It won’t be painful, but, may be slightly uncomfortable.”

I exhaled and tried to smile. At least that was good news.

One day, just before I was to have my EGG, I was at school, in music class, and I had a ‘grand mal’ seizure.

It was much worse compared to the ones I had been having (a grand mal seizure involves loss of consciousness and violent muscle contractions).

After my seizure I got taken to hospital where I was put on medication to try and stop my seizures.

Later, I had my EEG but it didn’t show anything. The doctor requested a CAT scan which is a special test that can see the bones, the blood vessels and the soft tissues of my body – it’s using X-rays and a computer.

We waited to see what the CAT scan would reveal.

This was taken shortly after my diagnosis

The doctor came to see us and said, “The CAT scan showed a brain lesion.”

I stared at him, “What does that mean?”

“It means that the images showed that you have you have dark spots in your brain tissue. Which is not normal and we need to do another test.”

A week later, on Friday, October 28th I was booked in to have an MRI scan. I was really scared. The doctor told me that this test would show a really clear picture of what was wrong in my brain.

After my test, we waited for the results. What would the tests show? I was feeling really anxious.

When the results of the MRI came back, it showed that I had a brain tumour.

Oh no. My world seemed to crush.

The following Wednesday I went with my mum to the Royal Children’s Hospital in Brisbane where we talked to the neurosurgeon (he’s a specialist who looks at the brain) and he told me that I needed to get an operation straight away to take our the tumour.

One week later on November 9th, I went to the hospital for my operation. I was so scared. My stomach was in knots, my throat felt tight and I was anxious.

“I’m really scared.” I whispered to mum and the nurses.

The nurses were really kind and encouraging, “You will be alright dear, the doctors will do a good job.”

I nodded. I knew that God was looking after me and he would be with me.

During my operation, and even before that, I had many people praying for me – my church, my school and even other churches’ prayer groups.

My operation went well, thank the Lord.

The doctor came to see me and talked to me and mum.

“The operation went well and we were able to remove the tumour.” He said.

I smiled at mum – thank the Lord.

“But.” He said, “the seizures could get worse, or stay the same, or even stop happening altogether, we don’t know how your body will react.”

I had to trust God that he was looking after me.

Since my operation I have had regular MRI scans to make sure that the tumour hasn’t started to grow back. But over the last couple of years the scans have been moved progressively further and further apart. They have gone from being every three months to now only once a year.

And as for my seizures? Thankfully, the answer to our prayers was that they stopped.

I am really blessed to not have seizures anymore and to have clear scans now.

Whenever I pray, I remember everyone who prayed for me during that time in my life. That experience has shown me how important prayer is and how God can help you in hard times by a simple prayer to him.

Always remember to pray when you’re in need, and God will help you get through.   

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