All I want for my 26th birthday is ..brain cancer?
My name is Katelyn Allen, I’m from Marshfield, Ma. On July 1 of this past summer I turned 26, although it didn’t go as planned. On June 28, I had my first seizure, completely out of nowhere. I’ve been healthy my whole life so this was a surprise to all, including myself. While in the hospital I had another seizure on July 1 (my 26th birthday) happy birthday huh! Followed by brain surgery the next day. Although the majority of the 11 days I was in the hospital was quite a blur, everyone was (and still is) so supportive which is awesome! Come to find out I have a brain tumor that has spread into two different lobes (frontal and temporal). The tumor is a grade 3 Anaplastic Astrocytoma.
The whole lifestyle change is still hard and extremely frustrating. I went from working full time, going to the gym, going out with friends to basically living each day around doctors appointments. I live by myself and am used to doing everything on my own. The areas in which the tumor is located effects my mood and memory a lot. Which is also very frustrating because I’m normally a happy, enthusiastic person, so on bad days I don’t even like being around myself. It’s hard but I’ve been making the best of it! On days I feel good I go to the gym, go for runs (if I’m feeling really good) & bike rides. I try and make the best out of the good days.
During the surgery, the doctors removed as much of the tumor as they could, although it wasn’t possible for the rest to be removed because of the possibility of permanent damage to my brain. The plan is to shrink the tumor through chemotherapy and radiation. I started that process on July 29; this entailed chemo pills everyday (including weekends) and radiation Monday-Friday. I recently finished this round on September 9! I currently have four weeks off until I start higher dose chemo pills, along with intravenous chemo.
I’m using my off time to have my eggs frozen, because I don’t know how long the chemotherapy is going to go on for. Chemo and radiation has been known to damage a women’s eggs or even make them infertile. I want to be safe, because once I beat this, having kids is very important to me! Although insurance doesn’t cover it, because it’s not considered a ‘necessity’. I’m lucky enough to have a best friend who made me a gofundme page originally for a service dog, that raised $24,000 in the first day! We were speechless and still are❤️ everyone has been so caring and helpful, it’s incredible. I have my puppy, Maxie, she’s such a sweetheart! And have been using the remainder of the money for medical bills and living expenses. Also, my bosses from work had a fundraiser that raised money for me as well as raffles, etc. which was so generous of them and everyone who contributed ❤️