Jenny's Story: Moving Forward

Jenny's Story: Moving Forward

The first episode came on November 2010. An overall numbness came over my right arm starting at the shoulder, shot down my arm, ending with a tingling sensation in my fingertips. I felt a moment of disorientation and as quickly it came, it left.

This happened within a span of seconds, easily I dismissed this as stress. Life was busy with a full household of 3 adults, 2 seniors and 2 children under the age of 5 years old. In addition to my home life, I lived an equally hectic work life as a Programs Assistant helping to manage an Executive’s calendar for a non-profit organization. Yes, life was busy but this was a lifestyle I was so accustomed to.

On April 11, 2011, I finally saw a neurologist and he suggested that we ‘wait and see’. The following morning of April 12 everything seemed ‘normal’ enough – more tired than usual – but nothing out the ordinary. The episode started out the same but this time was accompanied by dizziness, goose bumps and the numbness stayed. I made it to my desk and buzzed my co-workers to go to the hospital. On the way down, I bumped into cubicle walls and office doors. Once outside, I blacked out.

When I woke, I was told that I had a few grand mal seizures. The days that followed were a blur. I was admitted for a week and a half at the hospital and during that time I had a biopsy, tests, scans and visits filled with much love and support from family and friends. I was home for a few months to recover. It was the first time in a long time where I was able to slow down and really appreciate and reflect on my life. I was able to enjoy the simple joys such as bringing my children to school and listen to them without rushing through life.

In May 2011, I was diagnosed with Oliodendroglioma. The diagnosis hit so hard that metaphorically speaking, I fell. I picked myself up, told myself it was what it was and started the journey of moving on. I connected with the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada and started reading.

That year, my cousins and I participated in The Canadian Cancer Society’s ‘Relay for Life’, was back at work in July and just this past Fall, completed Scotiabank’s 5km ‘Head for a Cure’ for the Gerry & Nancy Pencer Centre.

It’s March 2013 and my quality of life is better. My priorities have changed and my focus is ‘today’. I wake up giving thanks for what I have and go to bed expressing the same. I write letters to my friends, started a journal for my kids, I have started separate journals that I share with my husband, brother and my mother.

My sister-in-law and I will walk the first annual ‘Head for a Cure’ in June. And this year marks our 3rd year of participating in ‘Relay for Life’ to raise money towards cancer research and awareness, and proudly we have raised just under $20,000 in two years. Our team name? ‘Moving Forward’ of course.

And I intend to continue Moving Forward with much optimism and hope.

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