"The headaches intensified," recalls Lisa Allen from Welland.
“Then I began to feel nauseous, and I had trouble finding words. I realized that something was wrong after I had a fit. ”
Allen was examined at her local hospital, which revealed the presence of a brain tumor.
“Getting the diagnosis was the scariest moment in my life,” she says. “I was 26 years old, I had two children, and I did not know how long I would have to live. This shocked my family to the depths of my soul, not knowing whether tomorrow would come. ”
Allen underwent a biopsy at the Hamilton General Hospital and an additional examination at the Zhuravinsky Hospital and the Oncology Center. Her care team determined that surgery was too dangerous an option, so she began an intensive program of radiation therapy and drugs to stop the growth of the tumor.
Another big surprise happened when Allen discovered that she was pregnant.
“I was scared how cancer will affect the child,” recalls Allen. “I was also worried that pregnancy could lead to tumor growth. I was placed at McMaster University Medical Center, where a high-risk obstetrics team helped me calm down during this stressful time. ”
Allen fell into septic shock during the 29th week of pregnancy, which is potentially life threatening for both her and the baby. Fortunately, she stabilized and gave birth to a healthy girl at 35 weeks.
“I was so grateful when I heard my daughter Aspen crying, and I knew she was all right. I call her my wonder child. ”
Allen continues to receive outpatient treatment at the Yuravinsky Hospital and Oncology Center. Her continued journey with cancer helped her look at important things in life.
“Every day is a real gift for me,” she says. “Thanks to the amazing care I get at Hamilton Health Sciences, I can be at home on vacation with my family. I can watch my beautiful children grow up and I can continue to be an active member of the community that I love so much. I am truly blessed. "
Allen shares his story in support of the "Gift of Health" campaign, which raises funds to provide specialized assistance provided by Hamilton Health Sciences. The donor support of the Hamilton Health Science Foundation is important to enable this level of specialized care for patients like Allen, who lives in Niagara and southern central Ontario.