Below is an email that Donna & I received August 27, 2002. It is Lesa Nielsen's story of her Brain Tumor. It is remarkable how similiar Lesa and Donna's stories are. If you have a question for Lesa, you can email her by clicking here. Please see her update below!
My story starts in March, 2000. It was to be a very happy day starting with my children singing in the church choirs and ending with my daughter's birthday party.
Instead, I woke up early unable to move my right leg. I could feel my leg, but I could not move it. I had hurt my back earlier that week and thought that this must be a result of that injury. I went to the emergency room hoping for a quick fix (I had a busy day to get through). Instead, I have a CAT scan done and a tumor is found. I did not leave the hospital for 16 days.
After numerous tests and scans to try to determine if it is a metastasized tumor, I had surgery to remove the tumor. Because of where the tumor was located, after the surgery it was very hard to move my right arm and I still could not move my leg. I then spent 10 days in rehab. Within a couple days, my arm was moving better and I was learning how to walk with a walker and a leg brace to keep my from foot from dropping. Before I left the hospital, I started to move my toes, then my foot and every day progressed from there.
Six weeks after surgery, I started the radiation treatments. I also had one round of BCNU chemotherapy in hopes that it would help the radiation. By the end of the 35 treatments, I was so sick but thankful they were done and the first MRI came back clear. I then started Temodar treatments, every 4 weeks for a year. They were not fun either but at least my hair was growing back from the radiation. Something the doctors thought would not happen. (Just shows they don't know everything.)
Now it's been 29 months since my diagnosis and every thing is looking great. The only effect I have from the tumor is my right leg is not as strong as the left and I have to remember to pick that foot up a little more or I might stumble. All MRI's have been clear since the surgery. I now only have one every 6 months. And I am confident the next one will be clear!!
I understand you not being able to determine when to stop the Temodar. I went with a year of treatments and feel good about that decision. But, as I have said to friends and family, I would take it every month forever if it meant I would be here to see my children grow up.
Good luck and God be with you.
Updated October 29, 2004
Hi Frank and Donna,
I'm so sorry I have taken so long to respond to your note. My computer has not wanted to cooperate. Anyway, I am doing great. The last MRI in April was all clear!! I am now at 4 years cancer free. Thank you for asking. I pray all is well with the both of you.
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