A Survivors’ Tale

I live in the beautiful seaside city of Cape Town, South Africa. I have an amazing husband and family. It was 4 years into marriage when my husband and I decided we would try for a baby. We got lucky! After 4 months we were blessed with a baby boy. I had a dream pregnancy which ended in an emergency c-section whilst I was at the hospital having a my final appointment. My son went into distress with the cord wrapped around him and we delivered soon afterwards. I always thank God for that because 4 months later I suffered my first seizure. At first it was diagnosed as post pregnancy stress, but after my second seizure I had an MRI which revealed an avocado sized tumour in my frontal lobe. If I had natural birth it is highly likely that my son and I would not have survived.

The next day I was booked in for my first surgery to try remove most of the tumour, second surgery followed to try decrease swelling. I was in an induced coma for a week and in ICU for another. It was diagnosed as a grade III Astrocytoma; however here I am 3 years later with no tumour growth and no real side effects apart from occasions (usually when I’m stressed) where I can’t speak. I am physically fit, I exercise. I am on anti seizure meds for probably the rest of my life which I hope will be a long one!

I have gone for 6-monthly scans and visits to my neurosurgeon since my op in 2014. Today’s MRI showed a small white spot that wasn’t on my last scan. We will wait until my next 6 monthly scan to see whether it changes, but for now I continue my life being positive and grateful for every second I have with my beautiful son and husband. P.S. Things that were perhaps early signs: migraine headaches for a few years (ignored, my dad also gets them), several episodes of not being able to speak (one bad one was misdiagnosed as a hemiplaegic migraine).

The world works in mysterious ways, if I had an MRI when I first noticed the signs, I wouldn’t have my son. It’s a miracle that things followed the sequence they did.

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