Brain Surgery & Proton Therapy

I am a happy, driven, compassionate 33 year old addictions counselor living in Oregon, and I have a brain tumor.  

My tumor and the cyst that surrounds it, were until recently inactive, but as of mid 2018 the cyst has been expanding. Unfortunately the tumor is centrally located in my brain, near my thalamus, hypothalamus, and pineal gland. And sadly super powers has not been a result of the tumor, instead very frequent if not constant pain.

My neurologist says at this point surgery is my only option. So in January 2019 I will be going “under the knife”. My neurosurgeon is confident he can rupture the cyst, drain it, and possibly remove some of the tumor, with what he calls “minimal damage” However the likelihood of the cyst returning is high and having lived with this condition and constant pain for long enough, I’m finally ready for radiation treatment, to be completely rid of this burden and pain once and for all, and be able to really live.

The beautiful part of all this (yes, beautiful) is that there is an incredible new radiation treatment called Proton therapy. This radiation penetrates the tumor but does not travel completely through the brain thus not damaging structures on the other side.  Which is fantastic for me due to the tumor’s centralized location.

But here’s the rub, my insurance does not cover this new treatment and would rather see me undergo traditional radiation therapy which would diminish my quality of life considerably.

In fact Proton therapy is so advanced that I would be able to undergo the daily treatment, leave the facility, and continue on with my day… with no down time, which is wonderful for an vibrant active person like myself.

The cost of the surgery will be approximately 20,000 (that’s what the last surgery cost) and the proton therapy can range anywhere from 70,000 to a 100,000 without insurance, and due to the location of my tumor, would cost close to the maximum amount.

Which is where you all come in. The cost is not feasible for me or anyone else in my life to finance, and I’m asking for help. Help so that I can continue on with the life that I love so fiercely.   

I feel absolutely blessed in my life, that I;

1. Have a wonderful support system, including a dear friend who lives in Seattle and has graciously offered me to stay with her for the three weeks while I get treatments.

2. Have family, friends, and a partner who would support me through this time emotionally (heck and they are even willing to sponge bathe me after surgery)

3. Have a job that I love, and a future that I’m passionate about experiencing to the fullest.

Now I just need to take care of my medical issues so that I can be present, pain free, and really live.

There is quite a bit more to the story of my life, diagnosis, 2011 surgery, recovery, and pictures which I will post as an update as soon as possible for those who want to know more about me.

Thank you for reading my story, any and all contributions, well wishes, and positive thoughts are appreciated.

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Iris Tifental Prosise 
Oregon City, OR
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