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Published on August 12, 2014 in Share Your Story



In 1989 I was 5 years old and I was brought to Mass General Hospital while I was in a coma. I was diagnosed with Astrocytoma (A primarily pediatric brain tumor located on the brain stem, near the Petuitary Gland and benign, but deemed unremoveable) . A shunt was placed and I started Radiation Therapy. I continued to have MRIs to keep an eye on things.

I was 18 years old in 2005 and the tumor began to grow. I went to MGH for a biopsy and had the same doctor I did when I was 5. One year of oral Chemo Therapy was able to keep the Tumor under control. I continued having MRIs regularly to keep an eye on things. In 2012 a Meningioma was found on the left side. It was on the surface, not malignant and easy to remove. This one was operated on by a doctor who specialized in this type of tumor and he believed it was caused by the radiation treatment I had when I was 5. Sometime in 2013 a cyst was found near the original tumor. A shunt was placed for the cyst, but had failed. The shunt that was placed in 1989 was still working. I was having left sided weakness and slight vision problems. I began going to physical therapy locally.

At the beginning of 2014 I went into MGH for surgery to get rid of the cyst and any pressure it was causing. Any left sided weakness I had did not get better. At the end of April 2014 I had surgery again on the cyst. This time it was successful. The doctor that worked on this cyst is the same doctor I had in 1989. I continue to go to physical therapy now and my physical abilities are improving. I’m sure this tumor will never bother me again, though I still have regular MRIs and visits with my doctor just to keep an eye on things.

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