Oct 03 2012

Survivor Spotlight – Margie

A Mother’s Day Story About a Proud Mother and Mother-to-be
by SCTA Volunteer Joanne Glosser Jaeger

Margie’s Surgery: My first surgery, in December 1983 for a tumor at L4 took place at NYU Medical Center, New York. My second surgery, July 1, 2003, was at Beth Israel Hospital the INN, New York for tumors at L4-L5, S1-S2

Home: I live in Glen Rock NJ and will be moving to Fair Lawn NJ in June.

Occupation: I am 35 and a stay at home mom for the time being. Being a mother is terrific. Just having your child smile at you is all that I need.

Family: My husband is Jack and my son is Mitchell. He will be one April 26th. I am married 3 years in July. My husband is great. We have a good relationship and he is a wonderful father.

Hobbies: I enjoy many things. I love being outdoors, music, theater, photography and dining out.

Story: As a child, I was very active child from playing sports to taking singing and dance lessons. I loved the outdoors. At age 13, I fell and bruised my coccyx bone. Months had gone by and it was not healing. I went from doctor to doctor and test to test until I had a myleogram (was replaced by the MRI). This showed a tumor in my spinal canal. It was November 1984 and I had just turned 15. My neurosurgeon was Fred Epstein.

Dr. Epstein was amazing. I still remember him coming into my hospital room to tell me and the family that I had a tumor and would need surgery. He was very upbeat and positive. A month later, I was operated on. It was successful.

After my surgery I was fine. Other than an occasional backache no symptoms at all. I had MRI’s done for about a year after the surgery.

My first pregnancy was difficult. About 10 weeks I started having back and leg pains, which lasted the entire time. I was in excruciating pain for months. Nothing seemed to help. I tried chiropractic, acupuncture, physical therapy, pain medication, exercise, rest and lots and lots of warm baths. We all thought it was the pressure of the baby or his positioning. As the due date crept closer, my doctor and I decided that a planned c-section would be best for me. As it turned out, I went into labor 3 days before the scheduled surgery and ended up having a vaginal birth. Yeah!! All went well with the labor. I delivered a healthy, beautiful baby boy named Mitchell. He is the light of my life. He is a wonderful little boy. He is curious, determined, smart and cute as can be.

A reason to get better: When I was told the tumor had grown back, I was in complete shock. I didn’t think that it was possible. I was horrified and extremely scared.

The second surgery was a lot easier for me. I healed a lot quicker and I was in much less pain. I also had a reason to get better, a 2 month old at home.

Joys of motherhood: I was told that it was not a problem to have another baby. A big concern of mine was that I would pass this down to my children and the doctor assured me that it was not hereditary. My current pregnancy has been a tough one but hopefully a few more weeks to go.

Advise to others: I would seek the advice of my doctor before getting pregnant if you have been diagnosed with SCT. You are more likely to have back, leg, or neck problems. For me it was fine but everyone is unique. I was not hesitant at all about having another child after the surgery. Now that I am in the last month and have had a very difficult time (again) with leg pain, yes I would be hesitant. If a woman has had a SCT and has had surgery I would definitely listen to what the doctor has to say. It is a difficult choice but one that is entirely up to you. I am glad that I am having another child but would never put my body under this kind of strain again.

What the future and the baby will bring:

I am going to be induced (most likely) at 37 weeks so I can be put out of this misery. The last 5 months of my life have been the hardest ever. I am ecstatic about meeting my new son but I am also ecstatic about being able to do everything and not feel any pain ever again.

When this story is published, it Margie will either have had her baby, or will be very close to the date. We wish her our love, prayers, and best wishes and know she will make a great mother once again! Enjoy what the future holds, Margie, we are with you!