Before being diagnosed with a brain tumor, I was very active–golfing, attending sporting events and spending time with my family and friends. Self-exams were not part of my routine, and I often brushed off health changes, telling myself they would just go away.
When I first started getting headaches, I took medicine to help and pushed concerns aside. But, when the lightheadedness and numbness in the back of my head started, I knew it was time to finally see a doctor.
Over the next year, I saw several doctors for my symptoms, but my blood work continued to come back normal. I started experiencing a weird sulfur smell after the bouts of lightheadedness and was told that the symptoms were likely due to stress and anxiety. However, the headaches continued, and I kept going back to the doctor. I knew something wasn’t right and finally insisted that I have a CT scan.
What they found on that scan was a glioblastoma, an aggressive, fast-growing brain cancer. Because I knew my body and didn’t give up on getting answers, I am now a survivor, beating the odds. The doctors were able to remove most of the cancer through surgery and I received radiation and chemotherapy. I now get regular scans and use Optune, a wearable device that limits the cancer growth with wave-like electric fields.
Three years later, I am feeling great and am enjoying the time that I have with my family. I am happy to be involved with the National Brain Tumor Society, doing the Boston Brain Tumor Walk to raise awareness and funds. I encourage others to be your best advocate, to listen to your body when it is telling you something. Don’t be afraid to push for answers. It can save your life.
- experiencing a weird sulfur smell
- numbness in back of head