Diane M's Story

Diane M's Story

I have had the same recurring tumour (grade 2/ non-malignant astrocytoma) removed three times now.

My initial symptoms were grand mal seizures. I had my first tumour removed in 1986. I was 32 years old with two young children. I had radiation. I went back to work, as an elementary teacher, four years later.

I was left with a focal seizure that I dismissed, to others, as a nervous twitch. To my surprise 20 years later, it returned. I had it out immediately. Apparently I was awake during surgery but I don’t remember that!

The doctor got rid of my focal seizure but, in doing so, weakened the left side of my body, which, to me, is my dominant side. I had home care, physiotherapy, and attended a Toronto rehabilitation clinic. Recovery was not four years this time, I was back to work in four months! My ability to print/write came back somewhat but it was slow and tiring. I was given some electronics to help at work.

Six years later (2012), it returned again. By this time, I had retired but if I hadn’t, I could have gone back to work in 4 weeks! I was awake the whole time and I wasn’t allowed to sleep (answered questions, kept my fingers moving). The day after surgery, I felt the same as I did when I went in.

Unfortunately, I contracted an infection in my incision and had to stop driving and rest longer until it was gone. Currently, three months later, I am well. I walk daily outside or on a treadmill,because being retired does not give you the same exercise as being at work.

Special thanks to my husband, my son and my daughter and of course, thanks to the doctors and staff at Toronto Western and Princess Margaret Hospitals, as well as, the medical students who study within their walls and Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada.

Things have changed so much since my original diagnosis and I am thankful for the great help in the medical community. My advice to everyone is don’t believe everything, you read
when it comes to your diagnosis – BUT ALWAYS BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!

Diane lives in Thornhill, Ontario

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