DISCLAIMER: We are going to share her story and the pictures that go along with it. Although this may be difficult to read and view, we feel it is necessary to include in order to truly depict the pain and suffering Lindsay has been through on her journey to what we hope to be a full recovery this time around.
In January 2016, at the age of 27, Lindsay was diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma; a brain tumor that grows on a person's 8th cranial nerve. But it was back in 2015 that Lindsay started to experience symptoms of what we now know was the brain tumor. Constant dizziness, difficulties seeing and hearing, sharp pains by her left ear and numbness in her tongue and cheek. She would often feel confused and experience dramatic changes in her behaviour and personality. We remember her being in and out of the doctor’s office –approximately 30 different visits between walk in clinics, her family doctor, emergency room doctors, and even specialists, all of whom told her she was physically healthy, concluding her symptoms to anxiety and stress. Looking back, we can’t imagine how lonely and depressed Lindsay must have felt during these times. How frustrating it must have been to have no one believe anything she said.
Thankfully, Lindsay didn't stop, and was persistent in telling us that she knew her body, and it was these symptoms that were the cause of her stress, not the other way around. One day, she decided to return to the hospital and insisted someone finally listen to her – she would not leave without an explanation. After much fight, she was finally referred for an MRI.
Lindsay waited 6 months for her MRI because she was not considered a priority. A previous CT scan came back negative, so they weren’t expecting to find anything serious. But when the MRI finally took place, Lindsay was called back the very next day for an emergency follow-up and was told the diagnosis she had always suspected, that they had found what looked like a tumor in the left side of her brain. After countless tests and scary doctors’ appointments, she was told she had a 3.6cm acoustic neuroma (a VERY LARGE tumor of its type). Unfortunately, as they had caught it in a very late stage of growth, she was advised the only treatment option available to her was surgery, as there was no more room left in her skull for the tumour to grow.
Lindsay has always been strong, and after being diagnosed with a brain tumour, she quickly realized how fleeting life can be. While most people would have probably given up and let the prognosis eat away at even more of their life, Lindsay decided to do what she has always done, FIGHT. By taking one step at a time, she began to master her life's obstacles, gradually building her self-confidence and ability to cope.
Lindsay had her first surgery in May of 2016 – despite being terrified and knowing that her life would be changed forever, the surgery went fairly well. It lasted 14 hours long, and doctors were able to get as much of the tumour out while still attempting to cause the least amount of damage possible to the cranial nerve (this would lessen the severity of the facial paralysis). After days of pain, nausea, migraines, and double vision, Lindsay being Lindsay (the eternal optimist) managed to recover from brain surgery and come out of it with a positive attitude.
Unfortunately, 7 months after her surgery, all of the original symptoms started to return. Again, she went to the doctors on numerous occasions but was advised that this was a normal experience – that because she had brain surgery these symptoms were going to be a part of her life now. We remember Lindsay crying in pain and frustration after receiving this news, but something told her it wasn't over and that the tumour was growing back. So, as she waited for her follow up MRI, she continued to work and relive her nightmare with all of the same symptoms she was experiencing a year ago.
Then, right after receiving her MRI, her personal nightmare would get much worse. Lindsay's mom suddenly and unexpectedly passed away in her sleep. Lindsay was told it was due to natural causes but at an age of 54, the news and lack of explanation was hard to accept. To add to her terrible situation even more she received the news that her tumor had returned and grown back and was once again very large, all while mourning the death of her best friend, her beautiful mother.
We had never seen Lindsay so defeated. She was recently told she would need a second surgery, scheduled for March 20, 2018, and that again there are no other options. The doctors told her this was only the second recurring acoustic neuroma they had seen in 20 years. At 30, Lindsay is now back at square one, has lost her mom, and finally had to quit her job as she is no longer well enough to continue working.
Please help us in supporting our best friend. Our wish is that she will be able to have her surgery and focus on her recovery without the burden of financial stress. Anything at all would help to support Lindsay in beating this tumour and making a full recovery!
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Thank you all so much.
- MARINA CAPODILUPO
- Gretchen Dewhirst
- Azieb Tekle
- Sara Kelly
- Kris Smales
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