Sherri's story

    meningioma brain tumor


For two years Sherri was convinced that she was one of those unlucky people who was destined to have sinus headaches. She experienced one almost every day. Some days she could fight it off; other days she needed sinus medicine to get rid of the pain.

Then late one evening in February 2013, those irritating headaches reached a point where they could no longer be contained. In the middle of the night, Sherri woke up feverish and sick to her stomach. Certain she was suffering from food poisoning, she tried to sleep through it. But sometime in the middle of the night, she awakened to find herself shaking uncontrollably and looking up at her husband, unable to say a word. In the midst of a seizure, she lost consciousness. When she came to, she realized she was in an ambulance.

A CT scan at Atrium Medical Center in Middletown, Ohio, revealed swelling and a probable tumor in the right frontal lobe, close to the midline of Sherri's brain. "That was a shocker," Sherri recalls. "I had to be transferred, and I asked to go to Bethesda North Hospital in Cincinnati."

There, Sherri met Dale Horne, MD, PhD, a neurosurgeon who today practices with the Mayfield Clinic. A quick series of phone calls to colleagues confirmed that she was in good hands.

"I feel so lucky (blessed) to be here today. My neurosurgeon, Dale Horne, is a highly skilled doctor and put me at ease before the surgery. In my book he's a super-hero."

"Additional brain scans, MRI's with and without contrast, revealed a mass surrounded by significant brain swelling and mass effect, with the tumor compressing the adjacent brain tissue," Dr. Horne says. "The scans also revealed that the tumor was attached to one of the main vessels that allow blood to leave the brain and return to the body."

Because Sherri had taken ibuprofen to bring down her fever, Dr. Horne waited a few days to perform surgery. Describing what would happen during the procedure, he explained to Sherri that they would need to cut some of her hair, place small discs about the size of a dime, called fiducials, on her head, and then do another MRI in the hours just prior to surgery. The scan would provide a map for the tumor to be precisely localized at the time of surgery.

The surgery went as planned and the tumor was completely removed. In the days following surgery, her brain swelling improved and she was discharged home with her family.

After surgery, Sherri had a sense of overwhelming ease. "This is where I get all choked up," she says. "I knew I was going to be OK. I had this calm feeling. I knew that I wasn't finished on this Earth. I tried to tell my family that. But of course, if I had been in their shoes, I would have been a nervous wreck as well."

As Dr. Horne had anticipated, the tumor was a benign meningioma, and thus had not spread to other parts of Sherri's brain.

During the next six weeks, Sherri rested and gradually cut back from two naps a day to one. She returned to work in late April and was surprised to discover that her memory was noticeably sharper than before her surgery. Sherri had complete resolution of her preoperative symptoms, including her headaches.

"After the surgery, I felt I could handle more, retain more," Sherri says. "I felt a lot more capable, as though my library had expanded. I didn't realize that my library was shrinking with the tumor because I learned to live with it. I feel very lucky, blessed. All the credit has to go to Dr. Horne."

>> more hope stories

Hope Story Disclaimer -"Sherri's Story" is about one patient's health-care experience. Please bear in mind that because every patient is unique, individual patients may respond to treatment in different ways. Results are influenced by many factors and may vary from patient to patient.


"I feel so lucky (blessed) to be here today.
My neurosurgeon, Dale Horne, is a highly skilled doctor and put me at ease before the surgery. In my book he's a super-hero."


Learn more about Meningiomas