My story begins in 2017.
As a newly graduated primary special education teacher, I need to be on my game, entertaining, knowledgeable and focused. I had just secured myself my dream job. Working with Aspect Hunter School and educating and supporting students on the autism spectrum. Daily life was hectic, up at sunrise, preparing lessons, attending meetings, and still managing to fit in some time with my then fiancé before heading to bed to rest and do it all over again the next day. I spent my weekends at the beach, next to a sporting field and spending precious time with my loved ones.
I was never one to suffer a headache. However in mid 2017 that changed. Headaches turned into migraines and blurred vision was becoming more and more present. After seeing my local GP and other specialists, the GP referred me to a neurosurgeon in Sydney. After an MRI scan, it revealed that I had a tumour.
Post craniotomy in December 2017, all was looking bright. That tumour that was deemed to be ‘benign’ was gone and surgery was a success.
While I was on holiday in Jan 2018, I received a phone call asking me to make my way to Sydney immediately. My parents and fiancé jumped in the car and we made the trip to Sydney to meet with the neurosurgeon. It was the 16th of January, 2018 that my life changed. I heard the words ‘Grade Four Glioblastoma’. I was given two choices, more surgery or treatment. Another surgery was radical, so after a quick 5 minute consultation with my fiancé and parents, I opted for treatment. Before treatment could commence I was told if I wanted a chance at a family I had to go through a cycle of IVF to freeze eggs. Which we did. My eggs were frozen within 2 weeks. Not bad considering the process normally takes months.
Treatment started with 6 weeks involving a combination of radiation and oral chemotherapy. Followed by a further 6 months of chemotherapy.
In October 2018, I finished treatment and two days later, married the love of my life. In March 2020, we welcomed our beautiful little girl into this world (No IVF needed).
I currently have a MRI and review every 6 months and so far no reoccurrences have shown.
I know I am one of the lucky ones. And to say I’m inspired by Mark and the work he and the MHF does to raise awareness and much needed funds to fight this horrible disease, is an understatement.
From one survivor to another... Thank you.