In 2003 I took myself to the hospital because I had a horrible headache that had me curled up in a ball on the floor. I was nauseous and wasn’t able to stand but knew that something was very wrong. I had never felt a headache this severe before. I could feel every movement of my eyes, which amplified the headache times 10. When I got to the hospital I vomitted as soon as I arrived. I was placed in a room and given a shot to calm me down and ease my headache. I was taken in to do a cat scan ( I don’t remember most of this visit). I remember being very annoyed that they were doing so many test and asked if I could “just go home and go to bed.” After a little while a Dr came in and asked if someone could come and pick me up to take me to a specialist. I asked why, but they wouldn’t tell me. My mom was called and I made her aware that ” I just wanted to go home and was tired of them running pointless high dollar test on me”. I was taken to a specialist and within a hour was told that I had a golf ball size tumor and it was unknown what kind until a biopsy was done. I was taken to another hospital and upon arriving I had a seizure. It was blurry after this point.
I remember being rushed into surgery where they told me the next day that I had an Anaplastic astrocytoma. This is a grade 3 tumor with a survival of 2-5 years. I had another surgery 3 days later to remove what they could of the tumor. Since the tumor stretches into the brain like a star with long points(the way that I understood it) they removed as much as possible. I began radiation and cannot tell you how many visits I had to have. I began chemo( temodar) soon after. I was placed on disability and told to enjoy what life I had left. (Was not that callous sounding but the point was made) Without going into great detail and minimizing any of what mental and physical issues that took place throughout this entire process, I will skip ahead. I never believed this diagnosis. I never accepted it. My dream was to go to college. Six months after surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, I started college. I wanted to keep my mind busy and also take advantage of the time off. Fast forward 6 years later and I graduated the University of Oklahoma with a BA in social work.
Fast forward to today October 2016, I’m still here.
I never talked about any of this before. 90% of the people I know today, don’t know any of this story of my life. I didn’t see the need for me to ever share this story. I’m a 10 year survivor and I want anyone that is searching for hope (family,friends, or the person that has been given this news), that there is hope. I searched frantically in the beginning and eventually quit looking. I was so wore out with “statistics!” I can say to those that are looking at statistics to remember, every person is different. Live your life like your going to be here longer than what “WHO” says. Get your facts that you need to find and then stop! Keep living! I know that my story is unique but there are other stories like mine out there. This story was short but I skipped allot. My point was to give you a brief idea of what happened and that I’m still here after 10 years. Is my quality of life good? Answer: I have to be up in 6 hours to go to the gym then work after. I’m just as normal as the next person! That’s another reason why the story is short. Take care.