Positive Story Series: Fran's Battle



The journey of cancer is one of identity. Cancer somehow manages to strip you of everything you believe to be, and the real challenge is to once again define who you are. I once described myself as a student, a primary school teacher living in London and chasing her dreams. On the 15th of April 2016 I became a patient, a dying woman controlled by the cancer growing through her very core. I watched my life crumble through my hands. When you battle cancer, you realise just how strong you can be when you simply need to survive.




I am now happier than I have ever been and it’s thanks to my cancer. When you are sat at the bottom of the well, there will come a day when you try to get back on to your feet and start climbing. You also soon learn who is truly there to help pull you back up, and those who just came to watch. My journey has been some what up and down and its not over yet.



Symptoms:

It all started on a night out with my best friend where all good tales do. I managed to face-plant the floor after trying to walk in heels for the first time in a while. My right foot seemed to have lost it’s balance and strength. After the laughter had passed, we put it down to a trapped nerve or something, although I promised to go to the doctors to have it looked at. I arrived at the doctors a few days later and he noticed my optician’s referral for slight double vision when looking left. I had also been in the hospital recently after cutting my left hand open on glass, my therapist began to notice that my left hand was stronger than my right whilst in recovery.




My GP sent me straight to A&E where I was poked and prodded by what felt like every nurse and doctor in the hospital. I was terrified. I lost my mom to cancer when I was 8 and hospitals always bring back bad memories. A few days later I was diagnosed with DIPG, a form of brain tumour most commonly found in children. It is normally estimated that you have around 9 months to live. However I am the only known adult to currently have DIPG in the UK. I was sent straight in for 30 rounds of radiation and I was put on steroids that made me look like I was about to float away any second!

Outcome:

The tumour miraculously shrunk and has remained stable ever since! I now have scans every 4 months to keep an eye on him (my tumour is called Brian). I soon discovered that the best cure for anything is laughter and Brian gave some comical value to my situation. I also started a blog called When Life Gives You Lemons. Once I was back on my feet, with a little help from my friends and family I was soon jetting off all over the world, I moved out of my Dads house and resumed my career in education.




I met my lovely boyfriend and my confidence still grows day by day. My feet feel once again firmly planted on this earth and everything I have learnt over these past 2 years has been invaluable to the person I am today. A cancer WARRIOR.



By 2020 I am aiming to have raised £5000 for The Brain Tumour Charity to help #FindACureSooner and ensure continued support and readily available resources for patients and families of those who have Brain Tumours. Please click on the link and donate, if all of my readers donated £1 I would have met my target already! https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/moneyforbrains

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