I would love to take this opportunity to share my fundraising experience with the foundation as this was my first time fundraising for the foundation. I was diagnosed with a Large Grade II Oligodidendroglioma on May 4th 2017. I’m a 43 year old mum of 2 boys who at the time were 11 and 16yrs old. I am Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse at Nepean Hospital in Penrith and was at work the day I was given the life changing news. I was caring for a very sick and premature baby when I started feeling sick, started slurring my words and began to feel a headache come on. I admit I thought I was having a stroke. I was fairly fit, was always busy, did 12hr shifts and put it down to pushing myself a bit too much lately.
One of the NICU Drs sat me down while we waited for someone from ED to come with a wheelchair to take me to ED to be seen. She gave me a quick once over, looked into my eyes with the ophthalmoscope and said “I don’t know what this is but something is seriously not right”. How true her words were. I was put onto the stroke pathway which included a CT scan. The ED Dr was a close work colleague and the look on his face as I came back from that scan told me this was bad. Dr ED came into the cubicle where I was in the bed - how did I end up on this side of the equation I kept thinking? My husband Mark had arrived by this time too. Dr ED sat on the bed and could hardly get the words out “Lisa, there is a large mass on the right side of your brain!” Shock!!! How did this happen? How come I haven't been sick before now? Were they sure? My poor Husband, My boys? My life? My Career? All the questions came in a rush. I will never forget the sound of our eldest sons voice on the phone when we rang him from ED and told him I wasn't coming home from work that night.
The Neuro team were called in immediately and the decision to operate ASAP was made. They needed a functional MRI ASAP as the tumour was right sided and measured 9.5cm x 5cm x 6cm and was close to so many important functional areas. Had I been having seizures? - No. Had I had bad headaches? No more than anyone else I thought, I work long shift hours, I might not eat and drink enough during a shift so put headaches down to dehydration.
Anyway surgery saw 90% resection which was then followed by 9 months of intensive PCV Chemo. I completed this gruelling regime at the end of March this year, I continued to work almost fulltime during my treatment just to maintain my own sanity and “normal”. I decided that my new normal was to do something to begin my journey of helping others like myself.
I was the crazy lady who bought a box of 87 beanies from the foundation stand at the Penrith Panthers Home Game on the Beanie Round weekend in May. I then bought another 8 from the local Cincotta Chemist in Penrith during the next week. I managed to sell all 95 Beanies to my large social support circle of friends from the community, work, cricket & soccer. Therefore in total I have proudly raised $2057.55 in my first attempt. I will be getting in early next year and will be aiming for the 100 beanie sale!!! I have had a friend recently complete the city to surf in honour of Brain Cancer “Walk for Lisa” was her fundraising page with all donations made heading to Brain Cancer Research. I am now on my next fundraising chapter. I am attempting the “Walk4BrainCancer”, October 21st 2018, Manly to Curl Curl. I would not be or could not be where and what I am today without the love and support of my Husband, sons, family, friends, work colleagues, Doctors, Nurses, Allied Health Professionals and support foundations like Mark Hughes or Brain Tumour Alliance Australia. THANK YOU!!!!!!