AndrewMy name is Andrew, and when I was about 6 years old, I started to get very sick. I didn’t want to eat anymore! I lost a lot of weight. Then it got worse. When I was 7, when I did eat, I threw it up. Food was really disgusting to me, and I hid my food in many different places. I went to the doctor a lot, but they never helped me. I got dizzy all the time, and sometimes I couldn’t see anything. I got really bad headaches, and my neck hurt. One day, when I was 8, I went to the doctor again, and everything changed. I got a CT scan! The next thing I knew, I was on my way to the city to get a MRI. I was scared, and my family was crying. I was also happy though, because I knew that these were the doctors that were finally going to help me! The next day, I had a surgery.
I don’t remember much about the surgery, or the month after the surgery, when I was in ICU. The doctor said that because my brain tumor was on my brainstem, he couldn’t get it all out. He also said that it was huge! Then I went to rehab. I lived in rehab with my Dad for 2 months. I learned how to use my arms again, and I learned how to stand up. I was in a wheel-chair because I couldn’t walk. I also couldn’t eat, because the food would go down the wrong hole. They did shock treatments on my throat though, and right before I went home, I learned how to eat! I was so excited when they took out the feeding tube, and I ate everything!
When I went home, I kept going to rehab 3 times a week, and I learned how to walk again. I got well enough to go back to school. I stayed healthy for a year, but then I got sick again. I went to another doctor, and got radiation lots of times. They had to put my head in a plastic mask and I had to lay down. The mask was bolted to the table so I couldn’t move. I went 28 times. I was really tired, and I lost my hair in 2 big spots on my head. Plus, I couldn’t go to school.
I got better for 7 months, but then I got sick again. I was really sick this time and I went back to using my wheelchair. My doctor was going to do another surgery, and I was scared because I almost died after my last surgery. My parents cried all the time. Then, 3 days before my surgery, I went outside to play! God made me feel better, and I could walk again. I was so glad when my parents cancelled my surgery. We switched doctors, and now I go to Duke. They keep giving me MRI’s, and then we wait for the next one. I am feeling very good right now.
My tumor is a JPA. The doctor’s say it is the best brain tumor to have, in the worst location. My parents said that most kids who get this tumor get to have it taken out by their doctor. My tumor can’t come out because it is on my brain-stem. I hope they can find a cure for my cancer.”