My name is Jackie Adams, and I am a brain tumor survivor. I’ve had two pilocytic astrocytomas. There, I said it. My medical history is not an easy thing to talk about. I make jokes and try to laugh it off. When it comes down to it, this is no laughing matter. Thinking about the future can be depressing and scary. It is downright terrifying.
The only thing that has gotten me through the last five years was seeing fear in my parent’s eyes, yet confidence in those of my neurologist’s and surgeons’. That was when it hit me; fear was not an option. There was no choice. You either live and fight the good fight, or you give up. It was very difficult, depressing, traumatic, but here I am!
Since my first brain tumor was discovered in 2008, I have grown more than I can imagine. I am not the same person I was in the beginning, but I am a better person. I have learned how valuable life is, and that this needs to be shared with others. It has been one year since my last brain surgery. I aspire to use everything I learned through my fight to help other struggling patients in palliative care nursing. Some people think I am moving too quickly and that this career will be too stressful. I will have to wait and see. I will take my time, and do my best. That’s all I can do. After my surgeries my brain works differently, and I will have to work slowly to get towards my goal, which is very hard for me. Brain surgeries can affect how you learn, your patience, memory, and what you can learn. I am learning that I can’t expect the same things from myself as I did when I started college. It is frustrating, but it doesn’t mean you can’t be successful.
I am writing this to promise myself, and my fellow brain tumor patients/survivors, that you are already making a difference. You are making a difference to in your life, your family, and people that you don’t even know. I wish everyone well. Once you get over the many hurdles in your healing process, realize that you are already so much stronger than you think. Please keep thinking about sharing your stories, impacting others, giving them hope, faith, and letting them know that they are loved.
I don’t know any of you, but I’m sending you all my love and respect for reading this. Thank you, and never give up.