My Stories


Luck of the Irish

I was born on St. Patrick's Day in 1980. My alma mater is the University of Notre Dame - go Irish! I married a blue-eyed Irish guy, whose beard when fully grown, is speckled orange, and he owns a legit kilt. So despite my South Texas roots, Hispanic heritage, dark hair and skin, let's face...

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Let’s Do This

So brain surgery is really happening. But here’s how I think about it: It's kind of like taking an umbrella on a potentially rainy day. If I carry the damn umbrella around all day, it will be annoying, but I can pretty much guarantee there won't be a single raindrop. But if I forget my...

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Something’s Gotta Give

After I had experienced a severe panic attack while driving home from work last spring, one that caused a traffic jam on the Mass Pike (a main highway through Boston) and landed me in the ER, I knew I needed to make a change. I knew brain surgery was imminent. I was tingling all over....

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Decisions, Decisions

So now after three rounds of doctor visits, we had three options for treatment: 1) medical management (aka, leave it alone); 2) staged embolization (aka, multiple rounds of glue to the brain) followed possibly by radiation or surgery for anything left behind; and 3) a craniotomy (with a pre-op one-time embolization to prepare the AVM...

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Keep Digging

I took a solo trip to San Francisco in May 2016, just over a year after first discovering the AVM. I met with a world-renowned doctor there, the best of his generation, the guy who literally wrote the textbooks on the treatment of AVMs. He trained under another world-renowned physician, the other “famous” west coast...

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