Sunday, September 24, 2017

Hypothalamic chiasmatic glioma

Hi, I am Abby. Here I am 20 years old! I first learned about CURE Childhood Cancer in 2009 when I was 12 years old. Now, eight years later my journey continues. I have a Brain Tumor. Over the years with continued growth, my tumor is both a solid and cystic Hypothalamic Chiasmatic Glioma deep in my brain. Brain tumors like mine can grow to a large size. This has caused me to develop hydrocephalus and to always live with a shunt.

There is never a non-threatening or non-aggressive brain tumor. Brain tumors can compress brain tissue and other structures inside the skull causing serious health complications. I have had continued tumor growth and once again underwent a major surgery in March with many complications. I have already been on 4 different chemo treatments that have many side effects. I have had over 13 surgeries due to the tumor, cyst and shunt malfunctions. I deal daily with headaches, vision problems, memory issues, processing issues and tiredness. Since my last surgery, I am still struggling with issues you probably would not notice unless you were with me daily. Sometimes I feel like I am in my own category. I will never be able to say N.E.D. (No Evidence of Disease) as I will always live with my Brain Tumor and its effects. What we hope for is that it will eventually just stay stable.

I am again helping CURE Childhood Cancer raise awareness and money. This is where YOU can help! What if research could find ways to stop any type of cancer? This is where CURE comes into the picture. The money raised in September will go to fund research for all types of cancer.

Last year I told you about my friend Sarah who was battling Ewing Sarcoma. Sarah gained her Angel Wings October 10, 2016. Yes, I still struggle but even more I miss my dear friend who ran out of options. 
Once again, my challenge is simple…. GIVE! It doesn’t have to be much but please do something. Unless you have walked in our shoes it is hard to understand how we truly feel and how we are affected. Everyone has struggled with something in their life and this is why my story is not just about me. This journey has taught me to be thankful, to reach out to others, to give back.

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