This year marks the 20 year anniversary of my surgery. Post surgery, I had a life expectancy of 1 year. In the six hours I was on that table my entire life changed.
I was diagnosed with an Astrocytoma in my optic chasm when I was 12. That’s a brain tumor, and it was right where my optic nerves cross, and right above my pituitary. Less than a month later I was on an operating table. It wasn’t so much the tumor, but the complications during and after that surgery that had the biggest impact on my life.
The optic nerve to my right eye was damaged during the biopsy. This left me blind in my right eye, and it left me with a lazy eye. I also developed a postoperative seizure disorder. They were able to pull enough tissue to identify the type of tumor, but it is inoperable.
After I went home I became depressed. I wouldn't eat. I lost all of my friends. I couldn't return to school. I was put on antidepressants and steroids to minimize swelling, help with my mood and appetite. I, and particularly my breasts, ballooned. I went from being flat to a D cup in the span of a month and a half. I went from 90lbs to almost 200lbs. Since then, I've gained and lost weight over the years. Up until I was 28 my breasts continued to get larger, capping out at an HHcup.
I've spent the last 20 years trying to understand why this happened and trying to repair the damage done to my mind and body. When I was 20 I had a corrective surgery to fix my lazy eye. When I turned 30 I realized I probably wasn't going to die so I should get my life together. Over the last 3 years, I’ve spent 20 months in physical therapy. My breasts literally pull by body forward, and now I have compressed nerves in my upper back. This sometimes causes my arms to go numb and I lose the use of my pinkie and ring fingers.
I've made a very focused effort in improving myself. It's slow going at times but I am determined. In the last two years I have lost 60lbs. There are days I am unable to stand or walk from the pain, which is part of the reason my weight loss progress has been so slow. I’m also unable to do many activities, running, using most upper body gym equipment, horseback riding, all cause pretty extreme pain. Even in yoga I am unable to do some poses because they are just always in the way.
I'm down to a GG cup but I have a "droop" of about 22" from collarbone. I did look into a breast reduction but Kaiser Permanente would only agree to cover the cost if I went down to an A cup. I feel that is on the extreme end of things and would prefer to avoid that.
So here's where I ask for help. I'm obviously disabled. I would love to be able to work and I hope if I continue on this path I will be able to in time. Until then, I need $6,500 for a breast lift which will take me down to a small D or large C cup. If you could contribute ANYTHING to help me achieve my dreams of being mostly normal I would be eternally grateful.
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- mysz kretowicz
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