At age 12, I started to experience numbness in my left arm and leg. It progressively worsened and at one point I had a seizure that my family witnessed. I was taken to our doctor who referred us to a neurologist and I was started on medication to control the seizures. After two weeks on the medication, the symptoms were only worsening so the doctor called for a CT scan which showed a tumor on my brain. The decision was made to partially remove the tumor.
After I recovered from surgery, my parents decided to take me to Fargo for a second opinion. They recommended radiation treatments which I did for 4-6 weeks. After the radiation was completed, another surgery was performed to remove the rest of the tumor and i underwent chemotherapy. My final treatment was in 1981.
More recently, in 2008, I had a stroke. They discovered it ws due to the effects of the radiation hardening and narrowing my carotid arteries. Later in 2010, I was hospitalized and experiencing grand mal seizures. I continue to have increased weakness on my left side and trouble with balance which has hindered my ability to work since 2006.
Today at 50 years old, I have survived cancer for 38 years. My sister and brother-in-law (Clarice and Joe) live close by and have been extremely supportive and helpful throughout this journey. With the love of all my family, friends, and God, I have been able to keep a positive attitude and live every day to the fullest.