Lucky Fall

Lucky Fall

Maddie

In March of 2013, I was in 6th grade, and fell of my swing set hitting my head. I was taken to the hospital where a CT scan showed something odd in my brain. I was taken to Johns Hopkins where they did an MRI showing that I had a tumor near my pituitary gland. I hadn’t had any symptoms, and it was lucky that I fell and got a CT. I was diagnosed with a craniopharyngioma, and was monitored over the course of 3 1/2 years. Had the tumor not been found, I could have gone blind, because in my freshman year of high school, the tumor grew into my optic nerve, causing a small vision field disruption. I had surgery on August 22, 2014, where they cut out around 60% of my tumor. I was in recovery at the hospital for a week, then went home, but nearly died and had to go back to the hospital because I had developed a rare complication called cerebral salt wasting syndrome, which causes the body to excrete all of its salt intake. After I recovered and my salt levels were normal, I started my 10 weeks of beam radiation. I only lost spots of hair, but the fatigue was the worst part. A few months after treatment ended, I went to the Neuro-Ophthalmologist, who told me my vision was cleared up and the MRI showed that my tumor had shrunk since radiation ended. This experience has taught me that if people can survive cancer, I can survive a little tumor.

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