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In 2006, when I was 17, I suffered a seizure at home and went to the ER where the doctors discovered a mass in the right frontal lobe of my brain.
After my surgery, I was diagnosed with a grade 2 Ependymoma.
I’ve undergone countless surgeries since then: 8 craniotomies, 2 laser ablations and 2 stereotactic radiosurgeries to treat an aggressive, constantly recurring grade 3 Anaplastic Ependymoma (in 2016 my tumor progressed to grade 3). I’ve completed all eligible brain tumor standard of care treatments (6 weeks of radiation, Temodar, CCNU, Lapatinib with Temodar). I’ve participated in 2 clinical trials at the National Institutes of Health, (immunotherapy – nivolumab, chemo – marizomib).
After a craniotomy in September ’19, I woke up unable to move my left side. I’ve been attending OT/PT ever since and can walk with a brace on my foot. It has definitely been a big challenge but I’m constantly pushing myself and celebrate the small victories.
Some of my favorite things are, in no particular order: jigsaw puzzles, jeopardy, concerts, online shopping, and my niece.