My journey with brain cancer began very suddenly in December 2011. After years of complaining of headaches, migraines and other symptoms, my doctor finally sent me for an MRI on November 26, 2011.

I left work for an hour to have this done, never expecting that I would not be returning to run the wedding that night that I had been planning for months. After being in the MRI machine for only 15 minutes, the radiologist pulled me out and asked if he could put a dye in my bloodstream to better see “what was in my brain”. I agreed and that was the moment that I knew something was seriously wrong. For the next half an hour I sat in that machine thinking over and over “What is he trying to see better?” and re-assuring myself that it was a normal thing to have this dye added in the middle of a scan. Once the scan was complete he told me to call a family member to come to the hospital and go to the emergency department right away. Now, as if I wasn’t worried already, the speed at which I got into emergency would have been cause for concern. The nurses knew I was coming before I even got there and I was in a room before I knew what was going on. Moments later I heard the words that would change my life forever…. The emergency doctor told my Dad and I that I had a brain tumour. I could tell how much it pained her that she couldn’t answer any of our questions or provide us with more information. I just sat there, as she and my Dad talked about I don’t even know what, trying to understand what I had just been told. The rest of that night is a blur. I do remember a few things though – the image of my tumour of the computer screen, my Mom’s face when we got home from the hospital, and the phone call to my boyfriend telling him he needed to get to Guelph as soon as possible.

Over the next few weeks I met with specialists, had dozens upon dozens of tests done, had a brain biopsy, and answered the same questions I think about a million times. Finally on December 15, 2011, I was diagnosed with an Oligodendroglioma brain tumour in my right frontal lobe. The tumor had been there for about 4 years at this point and was about 9 centimeters large. The team at the Juravinski Cancer Center in Hamilton discussed my case in detail and we decided to start a year-long chemotherapy treatment. I spent all of 2012 on chemo and while each day has its own unique challenges, I have never been more thankful in my entire life.

The tumour remained stable for about a year and a half after treatment, but on May 21, 2014 we found out that a section in the core of her tumour has turned into Grade 3 Cancer. This type is much quicker growing and more aggressive. This must be treated with another year of chemo, this time taking chemo every day for a year straight. I am early on in this journey, and am dealing with constant exhaustion and nausea every morning.

The love, support, encouragement and motivation that I have received from my family, friends, co-workers and complete strangers has blown me away. You are my FIRECRACKERS. This name is also what a close friend and personal mentor likes to call me, a “firecracker” – I am still deciding if this is a good thing or not ; ), I think it best describes my support system through this journey as well. You guys light me up when I am feeling down, put a smile on my face and inspire me to keep pushing. So thank you. I do not know where I would be without THE FIRECRACKERS in my life.

This blog serves many purposes… all of which I am not sure of yet. It will allow me to keep everyone up to date with my health situation, allow me to share my thoughts and feelings (which seem to change minute to minute), and hopefully provide a way for me to make some sense of what I am going through.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Friend Friday: LynsTheFirecracker | Courage and Hope
  2. Casondra
    May 04, 2012 @ 21:30:14

    You are a strong young women, who shares similar story to myself.
    In 2007 I was diagnosed with with an oligodendroglioma brain tumor on my left side. I was home for Christmas break when I collapsed at work. I was rushed by ambulance to Guelph General Hospital… the doc told me it will take a couple of months before I could get cat scan… the next day there was a cancellation, so I went in with my mom for 8 or 9 o’clock ..they told me that my family doc would give the report of the cat scan mid afternoon.. that weekend I was take to McMaster Hospital… there I had first Biopsy. I had to come back the weekend for my second biopsy.
    On Feb 5th I started with Chemo and radiation treatments for 30 days…. and after the 30 days of radiation I continued with chemo for a good 1 -1 1/2 year… with MRI every 3 months and blood test all the time… I can now look at my blood but not the needle when it goes in…
    Now 2012 I’m in “stabilization” for 1 year and a couple of months… I still have MRI every 6 months…
    Here are somethings that I found helpful: LifeMel – it’s honey… here’s there’s web site http://www.lifemel.ca..I found that it helped with my immune system . the other is Molasses from the Stone Store down town Guelph, to help with the bruising And even if you don’t feel like it you must not become “a couch potato”… otherwise you’ll end up with a hump of your back. Try to go for a walk around a room to start off.
    And don’t worry about the gaining weight, once your off the stereos your going to loose all the body weight you gained… you just need to exercise..
    I hope I’ve inspired you just a little bit to keep on fighting cancer. If you have any questions please feel free to email me.


    • lynsthefirecracker
      May 09, 2012 @ 19:11:45

      Thank you so much for sharing your story! It is so scary to think (and know) how quickly life can change. There certainly are many similarities between our stories. I will have to look into those things you suggested. And you have motivated me to get moving a little more this week. I do pretty good when I am not on chemo and am able to go for walks around the neighborhood but on chemo (which I am on right now) I just get in such a mental rut though. I will be going for a walk tonight for sure.
      Please keep in touch. I am pleased to hear that things are stabilized for you and pray that they will continue.


  3. Karla De Uslar
    Feb 19, 2013 @ 15:30:57

    Lynsey, you have expressed that you are opened to suggestions, is there any email address I can contact you?


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