Leesa Schoeberle of Morganton, a school speech/language pathologist, mother of two and cancer survivor at age 49, had resumed her busy life involving family, career and diverse hobbies. But on the last day of school, June 14, 2010, Leesa developed a migraine headache that worsened. She called her oncologist, Dr. Nathan Williams, who ordered a CT scan to help diagnose the problem.
Since Leesa had been receiving a companion drug with her chemo treatments that could cause brain hemorrhaging, Dr. Williams expected to find bleeding in the brain. Instead, he found a brain tumor. Leesa’s ovarian cancer had metastasized to her brain, a rare occurrence.
Leesa was immediately referred to Carolina Spine and Neurosurgery Center. Neurosurgeons at CSNC consulted with Dr. Williams and Leesa, then performed a craniotomy, successfully removing a grape-size tumor from her right temporal lobe. Subsequent cyberknife radiation treatments were completed to treat an additional spot in the center of her brain and the bed of the tumor that had been removed.
"As a speech pathologist, I knew enough about the brain to know that the surgery was dangerous, but the medical staff at CSNC was very thorough. Their confidence helped put my mind at ease and their sense of humor had a wonderful calming effect," Leesa said.
Today, Leesa values spending time with her family and has resumed hobbies and activities that take her outdoors in the beautiful Western North Carolina mountains - cycling on the Blue Ridge Parkway and kayaking the area lakes. She also pursues cultural interests such as photography, theater, and dance.
" I knew enough about the brain to know that the surgery was dangerous, but the medical staff at CSNC was very thorough. Their confidence helped put my mind at ease and their sense of humor had a wonderful calming effect."