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Home » Non-Malignant Brain Tumours » 39 yr survival of brain tumor

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02/11/2010 5:29:18 PM

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Hello ... I am a childhood cancer survivor of a cystic astrocytoma of the cerebellum. The brain tumor was removed by surgery and followed by 22 cobalt radiation treatments. I had absolutely no side effects after the surgery and was called "The Miracle Child" at the time. Fifteen years later I had some long term side effects ... I had a stroke but it was misdiagnosed as Multiple Sclerosis and six years later I had a heart attack. My hair never did grow back in the back of my head where the radiation was applied. And the hair on top of my head that did grow back came in like real baby fine and very hard to handle. My fiance left me when I had a stroke because I am paralyzed on my lower right leg and am not the greatest walker. lol And found out that I could never have children because of the radiation. I have not worked since my stroke and am on a disability pension. I suffer from severe fatigue and limited to my daily living routine.
But I look at it this way...Life is what you make it and I am a very happy person that just enjoys life to its fullest and am very thankful to be alive. I turn a pessemistic situation into an optomistic situation because out of bad does come alot of good
Life is so precious and it is a gift so use it to the best of your efforts and enjoy it because Life does not last forever.
Thank You for reading my story and if you ever want to get ahold of me, email me smilee77@shaw.ca I would love to hear from you
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02/11/2010 8:39:42 PM

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Kelly takes father's advice and makes most of every day
C7
Canadaeast News Service
Editor's note: The Atlantic Cancer Research Institute marks its 10th anniversary this year. While it's based in Moncton, this institute serves all of Atlantic Canada with a research team that's studying the genetic origins of cancer and pursuing three main areas of development: early screening, enhanced diagnosis and targeted treatment.
In celebration of the institute's anniversary, this series features cancer survivors from around New Brunswick.
"The doctor said, Mr. Kelly, we see something on the CT scan ... we need to get you to see a neurosurgeon right away, we see a brain tumour."
Those were the chilling words that David Kelly, a Fredericton city councillor, will never forget. A subsequent MRI revealed a "golf ball sized" brain tumour, and surgery was performed by neurosurgeon Dr. Kolyvas in Saint John to determine if it was cancerous. David recalls that portion of this challenging personal journey.
"I'd never had an operation," he says, "so when someone tells me they're going to do an operation of this magnitude while I'm awake, it's just a total shock. Myself and the anesthesiologist were talking about hockey, politics, places to eat in Saint John - everything (during the surgery) except what was actually being done to me that morning. I never felt a thing throughout the operation. Periodically the surgeon would ask me a question, they would ask me to speak, lift my feet, move my toes, make a fist."
Post-surgery, Kelly came along very quickly. Within a few hours of being wheeled out of the operating room, his IV was disconnected and he was walking around his room. Not long after his Friday morning surgery, he was on his way home.
"On Monday morning I'm going through the toll booth in Saint John on my way back to Fredericton. Seventy-two hours after I had brain surgery, I'm back home watching Dr. Phil. I just couldn't believe it."
A few days more and the encouraging results came back. The tumour was benign. But it couldn't be removed entirely because the balance of it was located in the area of the brain that affects speech and mobility.
Consequently he has regular MRIs in Saint John every 3 months to monitor the tumour, and he now takes anti-seizure medication for the rest of his life. However, no post-operative treatment was required.
Kelly is thankful for the outcome. He's back to work as an insurance appraiser, and is into his 11th year as a Fredericton city councillor (a seat he sought initially in honour of his late father and Deputy Mayor/City Councillor, Donald Elwood Kelly).
There had been no long-term signs that something was amiss, just slight dizziness and altered speech prior to his initial hospital visit. His entire family, including his wife Kim and their five-year-old daughter Mallory, continue to support him through this personal ordeal.
David remains an active community volunteer, sitting on several boards and supporting worthwhile causes. He is also active in sports including golf and an ice hockey goaltender. He recently contacted the Atlantic Cancer Research Institute in Moncton and offered his services in any way needed.
He believes cancer can be beaten, and supporting the institute is an excellent way to help make that happen. He also believes strongly in prevention for certain types of cancer.
His personal experience has underscored his respect for life and brought his Dad's earlier advice, when an industrial accident in 1976 left him a paraplegic, into sharper focus. This is what his Father told him in the Hospital right after the accident:
"Treat each day as special David, because you never know what tomorrow will bring." David lives by this each day.
David Kelly
City Councillor/Conseiller Ward/Quartier 12
128 rue Golf Club Road, Fredericton
The "Capital" City Of New Brunswick/Nouveau Brunswick
E3B 5M6 H/W (506) 458-8518 fax 443-0808
e-mail: david.kelly@fredericton.ca
City Website: www.fredericton.ca

"Fredericton...what a city should be/toute une ville".

"Volunteers aren't unpaid because they're worthless, volunteers are unpaid because they are priceless"- Author unknown

"There are no mistakes in life, only lessons"- Donald E. Kelly

"We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give"- Donald E. Kelly

"You treat each day as "special" David because you never know what tomorrow will bring"- Donald E. Kelly

Fredericton
A Top 7 City
Intelligent Community Forum
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05/11/2010 4:02:05 PM

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Hi;Smilee

You and I had very simular experiences.I had my Astrocytoma of the cerebellum in 1977,it was the size of a grapefruit.They said I had it since I was a toddeler.I also had 30 treratments of radiation.

Being of childhood years I think the recovery stage goes fast,my hair also came in supersoft the girls couldnt keep their hands out of it.But still it was a very tramatic experience and I had to wear a hat with flaps to cover my bare head,the Doctors wanted me to wear a helmet,but I said no way.

My parents and I did not notice much besides of always being tired and bad balance until I was in my teens.Then we found out that I had side effects from the radiation.

But that was then and I'm still here now.We have to share our stories and survival with others to give them hope and keep the Faith as I always did and still do.

Blessings
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26/12/2010 4:38:30 PM

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Hi smilee77, its Jasmine. I tried to send you a email but it didn't go through. I'll try again. I hope you had a Merry Christmas and I hope the New Year will bring good change and better days. Jasmine
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29/12/2010 2:54:23 PM

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Hi Jasmine ... i did receive ur email and i responded. Did u not receive my response????
Please let me know k?
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29/12/2010 3:04:03 PM

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Hello:
I am so happy that u responded and that there is somebody out there who has gone thru a similar situation as i have.
Yes we do need to get our story out to others who are going thru the agony of suffering a brain tumor diagnosis.
Have u ever thought of writing a book? I have been told my many people to write a book but because of my stroke i am having a hard time putting my thoughts into words.
I do not recall u leaving me ur name and where u r from??
Please email me at smilee77@shaw.ca and we can continue our conversation ... i am very interested to ask u many questions and such.
Thanks for responding
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29/12/2010 3:14:13 PM

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What a remarkable story ... u go guy!!! Yes one just does not know what is around the corner...
You have an swesome attitude and the motto i live by is: " Life Is What You Make It!" and it is so true. My email name says it all
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27/06/2012 8:59:05 AM

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Thank you SO much for your optimism!! I've not long since been diagnosed with a brain tumour, it's making me lose my sight --- already lost pretty much all sight in my left eye and it's starting to bulge...(ughh!!) You're great --- gives me hope and says I'm so not alone...! I'm 23yrs, and about to start radiation. Not too sure all that is in store treatment-wise yet...I will email you...thanks so much!!
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