Jens Journey

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May 2, 2014 - Croydon, Pennsylvania

In 2001 I was a senior in college and really wanted some extra money to be able to go to the bars. In order to build up funds my roommates and I had all signed up for research studies in the college paper. The one I was qualified for was an MRI study that paid $85...little did I know they were paying me to save my life. I went in and did the MRI, received my money and went back to my dorm. The following morning while getting ready the doctor called and told me to come to the cancer institute when I could as they had found a tumor on my MRI. I was in complete shock and immediately feared the worst. I skipped spring break, my mom flew out and we went to many doctors appointments to figure out what it was and what the plan would be. The doctors seemed confident it was benign and said it was a low grade glioma, and was only something that needed monitoring every 3 month. So for the next year I did the MRI's every three months as instructed and saw my neurosurgeon, and at that point the tumor grew and shifted so they decided they should remove it as a preventative measure. I went in on December 3rd, 2012 to have my tumor removed. My parents waited very anxiously in the waiting room, and hours later the phone rang. They asked my parents to come to a conference room...my mothers heart sunk as she had been through medical issues with my sister and knew that meant there could be upsetting news. My mom said she could read it on the doctors face, they had been wrong. The tumor was cancerous, but the doctors reassured my parents though that they had gotten the whole tumor without issue. I wouldn't need chemo or radiation, I was extremely lucky. 11 1/2 years later I can say I am still cancer free and have had no major issues. I am truly lucky for how my brain tumor was found and how my treatment went. My doctors are always fascinated about my tumor and how I found it. The joke with family and friends is that beer saved my life...had I not needed money for the bars in college I have no idea if it would have been too late before finding my tumor. I always encourage others if you even think there is an issue you need to get it checked out. Life is definitely a gift and I am grateful to be alive and healthy.