Living With Oscar

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May 17, 2015 - Land O' Lakes, Florida

I am a 3-time brain tumor survivor! We have been coexisting with Oscar for over 11 years. Oscar is the name I have given to the parasite who has taken up rent free residence in the right temporal lobe of my brain. I was introduced to Oscar in 2004 after a grand mal seizure landed me in the hospital prompting an MRI with the results showing an egg sized mass growing in my brain. My first craniotomy was performed in July 2004. Oscar originated as a slow growing benign, Grade II, Oligodendroglioma. I went on surveillance with regular MRI’s and Neuro follow ups. Oscar reemerged leading to my second craniotomy in March 2008. This surgery was followed up with eighteen months of oral chemotherapy (Temodar) and once again regular MRI’s and Neuro follow ups. My husband and I booked a trip to China to celebrate the success of my second surgery. Two months after my surgery I climbed the Great Wall of China. I went on to live a healthy, happy, and full life. I finished college. I worked full time. I exercised regularly and I’ve had the good fortune to travel around the world. For the most part no-one would ever guess I had a brain tumor. I had my third recurrence and third craniotomy in November 2013. Oscar has transformed into a fast growing, malignant, Grade III Anaplastic Astrocytoma. My third surgery was followed up with radiation treatments five days a week for seven weeks. I also underwent twelve months of Temodar. I am currently on wait and watch surveillance. I feeling great and doing very well. I am truly a very fortunate person. No doubt there are bad days and there are good days. I’ve learned to accept the bad days and make the most of the good days. I am able to go for daily walks and exercise. I do a lot of writing, I make it a point to learn one new word a day and I am currently teaching myself how to speak Italian. I believe it is important for me to stay strong both physically and mentally as I continue to battle and beat this war against Oscar.