I grew up just like any other kid back in the early 70′s. Life was great until in 1976 when my best friend lost a leg to cancer. I remember saying to myself, “I hope that never happens to me”.
Well, in June of 1977, Friday the 3rd to be exact, I was diagnosed with a very large Medulloblastoma of the Cerebellum and Fourth Ventricle.
I was 10 years old at the time. I was treated with 6 weeks of radiation and a year of Chemotherapy even though the tumor was successfully surgically removed. I was told by my neurologist that I would have side-effects for the rest of my life, but what they would be and when they would occur was any ones guess.
In June 1984 I was told that I had a severe Learning Disability and that getting a “Higher” Education would be impossible. In October 1989 I had a large Meningioma of the right frontal lobe removed.
You would think this was enough but on December 16 2001, I was diagnosed with having Epileptic seizures and to top it all off, this past July, I was diagnosed with another brain tumor which as of yet has not been named.
Why the long story? Back in 1977 I was only given a 3% chance of survival and against all the odds I graduated high school in 1985 and college in 1993. I even worked full time in between.
I thought my life was finally over, especially after having my Driver’s License, (which I got when I was 17 and was proof of my survival and independence) taken away for medical reasons.
But since then I have seen and experienced things that most people would never in their entire lifetime. For example, I see things (shops, places, events etcetera) on the street that I never knew were there when I drove.
Have I given up? If you’ll pardon the pun, over my dead body. I believe my journey is just beginning. Finally, to the many doctors and nurses but most importantly my family, thank you for the support you have given me over the past 30 some odd years, which has enabled me to begin this new journey.