Carolyn's Story

Carolyn's Story

My brain tumour journey started on July 2nd 2007, the Saturday of a long weekend. I had gone shopping with my daughter and she complained that I kept walking into her during our walk in the mall.

On my return home I experienced a severe headache the kind of which I had never experienced before. I took a few different over-the-counter medications, to try to relieve this headache, nothing worked.

I began to experience numbness down my left arm and believed I was having a stroke.

My husband called an ambulance and after their brief exam the paramedics thought the same thing, a stroke!

When I arrived at the hospital I was immediately seen by the physician who decided to do a CT scan. He told me he didn’t think it was a stroke but a severe migraine.

He was as surprised as I was to discover I had a tumor in the right frontal lobe.

I spent that night in my local hospital and transferred to St Mike’s in Toronto the next day. I was in surgery the following day to remove most of the tumor. The surgeon was unable to get all fearing permanent damage.

Pathology came back with Glioblastoma Multiform Grade 4.

A week later I met the wonderful staff of Princess Margaret Hospital and began radiation and chemotherapy. I was blessed that at the time my oncologist was conducting a study on a new drug for treatment of GBM and I was included.

That was six years ago and I am alive and well!!

The small residual tumor I have has not changes at all in the past six years.

I truly believe in my heart the study drug made the difference for me and it is why I am still alive today. My prognosis at time of diagnosis was 18 months to three years.

My family (husband and two children) help to keep me grounded and have been there for me, since my diagnosis, when I need them.

I continue to struggle the week before, and up to my next MRI, which I am told is totally normal, wondering if the tumor is growing again and how my life would change again id that was so.

I truly believe in funding for research , so the experts can continue to find drugs to cure this terrible disease. I feel anyone with a diagnosis of a brain tumor should have full access to current treatments and studies. That’s what saved me!!
 


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