Earlier this year, Jenny McCarthy faced the horrific surgery to remove a brain tumor she had removed a decade ago that had returned. The talented wedding photographer and businesswoman had everything clarified earlier this month that she and husband Martin King have returned to their normal lives after Jenny recovered from surgery.
While speaking with Brendan O’Connor, the couple sat down to share their life stories of surviving brain tumor surgery.
Jenny had a brain tumor removed ten years ago and her annual check-up in December 2021 revealed another tumor had grown on her frontal lobe. After experiencing severe pain in her head above her ears, she knew she needed a test, although her medical team advised she no longer needed routine scans.
Thinking back to the moment they first discovered she had a brain tumor, Jenny shared the news her doctor gave her.
“When he told me it was a brain tumor, I just said ‘Will this kill me?’ He said, ‘I’ve been thinking about this all day and I know this is going to be the first thing you’re going to ask me, ‘ He said ‘I don’t know,'” she said Sharing on the radio today.
The couple then set out to find a surgeon who could perform the tricky excision and said they “finally found a brain surgeon after a lot of shopping”.
They were directed to operate as far as New York and France, eventually finding Dr. Ciaran Bolger, a neurosurgeon at Beaumont Hospital who was willing to take on the challenge.
Jenny shared that she was nervous about his surgery and worried that something would go wrong and that she might wake up after the surgery as a completely different person.
“I didn’t say that to anyone, including Martin, because that’s who I am. I don’t like to make people worry, and when this happens, I feel sorry for the other people around me. I worry more about how they feel than I do It’s better to worry about yourself.”
Martin spoke to share his experience as Jenny’s supportive partner through those difficult times.
“It’s almost like she stepped out of herself and took on the role of mother and was taking care of everyone because she was worried that everyone was worried about her,” he said.
I try to be as positive as possible but I feel totally helpless because I think most people do in this situation, you rely on the talent that this person (surgeon) has, not just to save you wife’s life, but to save your future. “
That helplessness came back when we had to go through it this year. The first time was too hard. “
Jenny then had a second tumor removed on February 1, 2022. Before the surgery, she had restless days and worried about her future. In particular, she experienced panic attacks while filming a wedding.
“I just felt like there wasn’t enough air. I couldn’t even breathe, and Amy, who was with me at the time, and is now my new assistant, suddenly found a chemist and bought me rescue medication…but all day I was thinking ‘what happened to me? Why did I come back? Will it be okay this time?'”
“So I wasn’t great that day and the next day, but after that I was fine. It had to come out.”
Surgeons allowed her to view scans of her tumor before preparing for surgery, and Jenny was shocked by the size of the lump. “It was a pretty big thing in my head, and this thing grew up. It got pretty big. I was freaking out,” she said.
She shared that once she went back for a post-op consultation with their doctor, someone said she had to undergo chemotherapy or radiation because it was a recurring tumor.
“I asked him right away, ‘Am I going to lose my hair?’ He said yes, and I said ‘I wouldn’t do that! But anyway, we organized a scan…so we had a great week a few weeks ago. , it was my birthday, I was 50, my daughter-in-law gave birth to their beautiful baby, we had a scan, and it turned out great, he called me and told me I didn’t have to have chemo or radiation, so I I’m happy now.”
Talking about how the experience shaped their relationship, Martin said: “We’ve always been close, but it’s brought us closer together since those things happened.”
“We realize that while we’re alive and breathing, we’re going to be together forever, but that does make you question your mortality rate.”
When asked how the experience has changed her, Jenny said she is now able to see people for what they really are and that she no longer puts up with any “sh*te”.
As for Martin, he found religion and rekindled enthusiasm for his Catholic faith. He explained that his weekly mass attendance was his thanks to God.