Hannah, brain cancer survivor grade 2 oligoastrocytoma.
I don’t know how long I had the initial symptoms. At least 12 months prior to my diagnosis and surgery I found excuses for each symptom and my poor husband and children were in the firing line most of the time!
In July 2015 I arrived home from work thinking I was coming down with a sinus infection and experienced some blurred vision during my 32km drive home. As I helped my husband prepare dinner, a chemical feeling hit me just as I was eating lettuce and celery from the salad I was making. I knew then something wasn’t right and as we lived on a farm, I thought it would be best to go straight to Wallaroo where my in-laws lived by the hospital. By the time we got to the hospital I struggled to walk unassisted and was extremely confused and scared.
In Emergency I remember being told I was having an anxiety attack and it was probably just gastro. Over the next few hours in hospital I had 2 tonic clonic seizures. I am lucky my cousin and my mother are registered nurses and were able to push for me to be transferred by helicopter to the Royal Adelaide Hospital.
The week I spent in hospital following my initial diagnosis was a blur. My Mum convinced the wonderful medical team to let me out early so I could spend time with my children and family in Adelaide prior to surgery.
Most of my tumour was removed during surgery and I woke in ICU the next day. I spent a further 6 days in the RAH recovering.
I completed 6 weeks of Radiation Therapy at the end of 2015. I live approximately 170km from Adelaide and was able to spend most of my time at home between treatments thanks to my wonderful family and friends for driving me.
Not long after I completed my treatment, my wonderful friends and husband accompanied me to Carrie Bickmore’s Brain Beats Concert in Melbourne.
I am now trying to wean off the dreaded steroids, find a ‘new normal’ and a way to survive the dreaded 6 monthly MRI scans and appointments.
I have resigned from work and am forever grateful for my family, friends and the community I am a part of.
With the help of friends and family I am raising awareness and funds for Brain Cancer Research. Our first event was on Sunday 26th June Head Case Family Fun Day.
My dream is to look after my children with my husband and watch them grow into successful independent adults.