Katherine's Story: Filled with gratitude

Katherine's Story: Filled with gratitude

I was diagnosed with Anaplastic-Ependymoma, stage 3 brain cancer, at the age of twelve. 

By my second surgery, my neurosurgeon had mentioned that I would be hospitalized for three to eight weeks after my surgery, and I would start physiotherapy (starting with sitting up) later that week; that was a no-no for me! I told my neurosurgeon that I would be home five days later, and my neurosurgeon smiled and then said that I should wait and see how I feel after my surgery.

After my eleven-hour surgery, I remember waking up and telling my family that my neurosurgeon had done everything he could, and that everything else was now in God’s hands.

Within the next fifteen hours, I was eating my first meal, so I was moved from the I.C.U. and put into my own, private room. Once I had moved in, I really had to go to the bathroom, however, there were no bedpan in sight. Therefore, I told my mother that I was going to walk to the bathroom that was located next to my room. My mother believed in me, and she helped me out of bed. From that moment on, I started to walk everywhere and I was eating everything; I went home two days later, and I did not need physiotherapy! A month later, I had started my ninety-nine radiation treatments, and within the next year, I had two spinal taps and a surgery to remove my shunt. 

I am now twenty-four years old, and filled with gratitude! I am blessed to have had a phenomenal team at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, an amazing and supportive family, and friends who had, and still stick by my side. 
 
For anyone who reads my story, I hope that you believe in yourself and never lose hope; everything happens for a reason!
 
 Thank you Katherine for sharing your story of strength!

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