August 16th, 2011
07:30 AM ET

Human Factor: Brain tumor makes today more meaningful

In the Human Factor,  we profile survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle – injury, illness or other hardship – they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn't know they possessed. Today Jennifer Giliberto shares her story of  embracing today after a grim diagnosis.

On June 20, 2007 we began a new life. In a brief moment, the world stopped spinning and a resounding smack signaled the closure of the life we knew. Nothing would ever be the same and we’d never be the same people again.

The glowing white lesion, a grade II astrocytoma, staring back at me from the MRI film hanging on the wall at the neurosurgeon’s office that day will always be a vivid memory. The flood of emotions, shock, tears and the entire aftermath are no less raw today than four years ago, but these emotions all exist with greater balance in my life now.

We're now grateful for the gift that has humbled us.

Since that warm, sunny June afternoon, we've faced my mortality, questions about quality of life, acknowledged that a new definition of “normal” would need to be created and have settled into our new life with unexpected ease.


About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.