Dercelia Ortiz - Inoperable Multiples

 "I may develop more in time. I say, "Bring it on!" 


I was diagnosed with my first brainstem cavernoma when I was 25 years old. In June 2012, I woke up one morning to complete paralysis and numbness to the right side of my face, including tingling sensations through out my entire body. As the strong, yet stubborn woman that I am, I continued through my morning routines, assuring my boyfriend, Jason, of 7 years, that it was nothing, and we both went to work as usual.

As I made my way to work; I was not myself; I assure you that! one word to describe my commute - different. My co-workers were more than worried with and about my symptoms, and what I was experiencing; therefore, they convinced me to go to the ER. After being transported to another hospital who could handle what was now known as a brain bleed, my family, friends, and of course myself were more than mortified. We all were confused by what the doctors were telling us.

The word cavernoma was new to us; I am the only one in my family ever diagnosed with them. After meeting countless neurologists and surgeons; my only choice was not to have surgery. After about 3 weeks, and a seizure
I had another bleed. This really opened my eyes to the fact that yes, I do have a cavernoma and yes, I'm not as strong as i once was before. With the support of my family and friends, but more importantly from Jason, I would have never made it through that summer.

In October, when I thought I was making progress, I found out I was pregnant and now also suffering with Bell's palsy on the left side of my face! Even to this day, the right side of my face is numb, but now my left side was droopy...who wouldn't freak out. I was only 8 weeks along, and all I could think about was the safety of my baby. I was counseled numerous times on the severity of the issue and how my body was not in any shape to carry a child; I was still recovering from my two previous bleeds, plus the Bell's palsy. My neurologist introduced me to a fantastic high-risk pregnancy OBGYN to watch me through this difficult yet ultimately rewarding time. Those nine months were hard for myself, but the stress alone was killing my family and Jason. 

I was placed on bed rest at 24 weeks, due to complications and was seen once a week to monitor my health but more importantly my son's. I was doing everything in my power to help my son grow at the normal and correct rate but my body was the culprit. On June 20, 2013 I had a scheduled cesarean and my son, Micah, was born at 6 lbs 2 oz, healthy as could be. God has answered our prayers, and my son's cry was more beautiful than a chorus at Christmas morning mass. The strife I put my body through was more than I may be able to handle again, but he is the light of my soul, and the reason I push myself so hard everyday. About six months after delivery, I found out that I had what my neurologist referred to as a “micro bleed" and also was diagnosed with a second cavernoma. He explained to me that I am now in the category of "multiples" and more than likely I may develop more in time. I say "Bring it on!" 

I once was scared that "today may be my last" but I have faith that it isn't and I will see my grandchildren. I live my life as if they aren't there; pushing through with my regular activities, doing the things that I love, even though sometimes my body doesn't allow me to do so. I feel as if I get my strength from my mother, who has been battling lymphoma for 12 years. After a round of chemo, you will still see her at the ball park the next day cheering on my nieces and nephews as if nothing went on the previous day. She pushes herself to live, and I too, shall do the same! I am grateful for everyday, and I thank god everyday he allowed me and gave me the strength to bring Micah into this world for Jason and I. He is our everything, our world.