Support Group Key to Young Mother’s Successful Fight with a Brain Tumour

Life after a brain tumour diagnosis is never the same for both patients and their families but for one Windsor woman, the diagnosis led to positive changes including achieving a life-long dream. For Selena Foubert, attending the monthly support group meeting offered by Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada, gave her the support she needed to both fight her disease and pursue her dreams of becoming a nurse.

In the summer of 2006, Selena was a vibrant 28-year old mother to an active four-year old boy. She also suffered from frequent headaches, something she had dealt with since she was young. So, it was not until her symptoms grew in frequency and severity that summer to include, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, that she sought medical attention. Life seemed to quickly come to a halt with the diagnosis of a brain tumour and Selena suddenly felt isolated and alone.

Just a few short weeks after diagnosis, Selena had surgery to remove her tumour. Doctors were able to remove 85% of her tumour but soon after, Selena fell into a deep depression. Once home and in recovery, she read the information a nurse had given her about Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada’s Windsor Support Group. With the support of her sister, she went to her first meeting in March 2007. “I met many people in similar situations to mine and it really opened my eyes that I was not alone.” She explains that this support helped improve her recovery and motivated her to think about her goals for the future.

Unfortunately, in 2008, Selena received the devastating news that her tumour had begun growing again. The difference was that this time, she had the help of other survivors. “The best thing about the support groups is that you have people to talk to who understand. You meet people along the way who have been in similar situations as you.” Selena had a second brain surgery in August 2008, where the doctors were successful in completely removing the rest of her tumour. Currently, she is tumour free.

During her brain tumour treatment process, Selena’s long-time dream of becoming a nurse pushed to the forefront of her mind. She decided that she should go after her goal because, “you never know what life is going to throw at you.” During her internship, she had the opportunity to work on the neurosurgical unit of Windsor’s Hotel Dieu Hospital, where she had her surgery. As a result she was in the unique position of being able to truly understand what her patients were experiencing and she believe she is a better nurse for the experience.

Selena credits her son Brayden and her boyfriend Brian with giving her the courage to fight her battle with a brain tumour. This experience has led to many amazing people entering her life and she knows that she is truly not alone. Now, as she is about to begin her new career, Selena plans to continue attending the Windsor Support Group and reassuring patients of its incredible value to their journey. She says, “I have cared for the sick and dying from this terrible disease and I am thankful everyday for my more fortunate outcome.”

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