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I Am a Doctor and a Patient

Published on August 28, 2023 in Share Your Story

Guest Author: Maiko H. in Switzerland

During my business trip, my observant colleague noticed an issue with my eye movement, prompting an urgent visit to the Accident & Emergency for a series of thorough examinations. As a physician myself, I understood the potential implications, and my mind brimmed with concern. 

The MRI unveiled a brain lesion, yet its cause remained elusive, setting forth a challenging journey of four weeks, where I sought guidance from esteemed doctors at four prestigious university hospitals and delved into countless articles in pursuit of clarity regarding my condition. The information on my type of tumor was frustratingly limited, driving me to reach out to experts from the US, Japan, Germany, and Switzerland to gather insights.

Those weeks were undeniably among the toughest in my life as I grappled with ever-changing diagnoses and uncertainties. Ultimately, after extensive consultations and careful consideration, we arrived at a probable diagnosis of a schwannoma in an exceptionally rare location.

I feel a profound sense of gratitude that I am fully recovered and could come back to full-time work with energy without any conditions after a surgery. 

However, this experience has left me with an invaluable lesson. The research in the field of brain tumors is still insufficient, and we need to advance it. Brain tumors kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet, since records began in 2002, just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to it (UK data). Brain tumor research deserves greater attention and support due to the complexities of these conditions and the significant impact they have on patients’ lives.

I hope we can champion this cause and work toward a future where brain tumor patients can make more informed decisions, receive more advanced treatment, and have a healthier life.

Opinions expressed within this story belong solely to the author and do not reflect the views or opinions of the National Brain Tumor Society.

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