Tuesday, March 24, 2009

How Lucky is Nancy Arthur!?!

Very Lucky! I’m Nancy Arthur, 31year old female. Around this time last year, one evening, out of the blue I had a couple of seizures and was rushed to the hospital to discover that I had a 5cm, Stage III, Anaplastic Astrocytoma, aka- brain tumor, in the right frontal lobe of my brain. Being in the medical profession, or any profession for that matter, I knew this wasn’t good. That evening I was transferred to John’s Hopkins Hospital and the following day I was having major brain surgery! My nuero-surgeon, Dr. Quinones, was extremely positive and passionate about his job. You need that when they are going to work on your main computer of your body.

After my craniotomy, it took awhile for my left side to come back since the tumor was near the part of the brain that controls my left side motor skills, personality, decision making, etc... After I left Hopkins I was sent straight to an Inpatient Rehab Hospital for a week, where I had intense rehab in physical, occupational, and speech therapy. I had to relearn how to do normal daily activities, such as, walking, talking, bathing, etc... I remember thinking… that I knew what word I wanted to say but just couldn’t think of it. It was very frustrating. My brain was so swollen due to surgery. Once I repeatedly connected the neurons, they made tracks in my brain that made things become like second nature, like such a simple act of opening and closing my hand. The simple things that people take for granted, everyday. With effort and pure determination I worked at becoming the same Nancy I used to be.

Once I returned home from the inpatient rehab facility, I continued to do outpatient rehab until I was strong enough to start my treatment. I did 6 ½ weeks of radiation therapy with an oral chemo. Then I took a break for my body to build up strength. The second phase of my treatment was 6 rounds of oral chemotherapy. I just finished my 6th and final round on March 1st of 2009!! I couldn’t have done so well without the support of my loving family, friends, and strangers. I so thankful that I had all the positive energy pointed my way to allow me to beat this disease.

This is why I feel so lucky? It was not an easy recovery but I’m so glad this happen to me (in a weird way). It definitely, showed me how strong I was not to give up and keep on fighting. If I can do this, I can do anything! Also, it taught me never ever take anything for granted. Since this has happened to me my relationships are so much stronger with everyone. It makes you look at things in a different light. Always, look at the bright side of things; somebody has it worse than you. Life is full of uncertainty. Why dwell on what you can’t do and when you can dwell on what you can do! Positive thinking goes along way. I truly believe that if you have a positive outlook you can heal and live so much better!
Nancy Arthur
Young Adult Cancer Survivor

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