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the benign cerebellar/stem astrocytoma and hemorrhagic stroke which happened at age 22

Published on August 11, 2016 in Share Your Story

I was seven when I had my first partial removal of the brainstem cerebellar astrocytoma. Though it was benign, it was located in an area that complete removal meant damaging nerves and leaving me with disabilities. Doctors wanted to keep the quality of life and two years after the surgery I had radiation therapy since there were signs of regrowth. In college I had more surgeries for hydrocephalus a cyst and a hematoma too. After graduating college with a bs in biology as a premed I was accepted to optometry school to be an eye doctor. That was the happiest day of my life . But it was also my saddest since I was recovering my my hemorrhagic brainstem stroke . I was at mgh and reading my accepting letter and wondering how I can go from being a patient to be a clinician. The hemorrhage was a result of the radiation which in some rare pediatric cases can weaken blood vessels causing them to bleed. The tumor had to be removed also which altered the quality of life. Today it has been 17 years and I still have double vision ringing in ear hearing loss, right side facial paralysis, can’t chew on right side , use a straw to drink, have ataxia since some of the cerebellum was removed, along with some energy loss, fatigue, headaches and incoordination of fine motor.. I miss playing sports such as basketball, or running and doing things every young adult enjoys like driving, having a good friend, and meet that special person to fall in love. I Know my disabilities are visual but I am not letting that stop me from being part of the community and enjoying life. Yes society can be hard when they see you physically disabled but I don’t let that stop me. I still have hope myself that I will find something that I can do in terms of a career using my brain. i might go to graduate school so the possibilities are endless. I like to workout , eat healthy, draw and do photography. I have some old pictures of Boston and my story is on it. Maybe I will meet some friends too by writing this tonight . I want to last say that you have to have hope and always always dream big and don’t give up.



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