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Keeping the Faith

clara and mike



Submitted by:
Michelle Hartfiel

My husband, Michael Hartfiel, was diagnosed with a brain tumor in January of 2009, while we had a 2 year old daughter Abby and I was 5 months pregnant with our second daughter Clara. At first the doctors just thought it was growth and we met with a surgeon and then had a second opinion at MD Anderson. The tumor was pressing on his optic nerve and was causing issues with his vision, so it needed to be removed. Fast forward to June 2009 and the tumor was removed and sent off to pathology. Clara was 2 weeks old at the time and we had our hands full to say the least. Mike was released from the hospital in 5 days and was on his way to recovery. Six weeks later, we met with his surgeon and it was determined that Mike had a rare type of brain cancer. They had to send it off 3 times to pathology. He was diagnosed with a Meduloblastoma. Now our family is faced with a cancer diagnosis and chemo and radiation treatments soon to follow. Mike received all of his treatment at the START Center in San Antonio. He underwent 3 rounds of chemo and 12 weeks of radiation to his neck, back and spine. The type of cancer attacks these regions. Since his cancer is so rare to occur in adults, there was little to no research for treatment options. We worked closely with his oncologist to come up and follow a treatment plan. January 2010 was his first of many clear scans. Mike has been in remission for nine years and our girls have their sweet Daddy in their lives! He has had a few set backs with radiation scarring, but has been a testament that he is a SURVIVOR! We are so proud of his fight and all of the others who have undergone the ugliness that brain cancer brings to their lives! GO GREY!