IAmA 24 male that has been living with cancer for 20 years
EDIT: I forgot to mention that the cancer that I have is brain cancer.
I am 24 years old and I was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 4 and 3/4, on October 16th 1994. However, The first signs of my cancer came about when I was 2, though the doctors refused any tests until 2 years after. When they found it, they told my mother that I was a day from the tumor becoming inoperable.
I had a grapefruit size tumor removed my brain, sadly, they weren't able to remove it all and to this day, I still live with it.
When they did the initial operation, they had to cut a hole into my skull, to reach my brain obviously. This made it possible for spinal fluid to build up and to counteract this, a shunt was inputted at the side of my head. The shunt is basically to drain the spinal fluid, and the cord runs down to my stomach, where the spinal fluid gets redirected to.
20 years later, I have stared death in the face more times then I care to count, I have died, I have had a total of 10 operations (8 shunt revisions because the tube does get blocked, which means a build up of fluid. This needs immediate attention) and 2 major brain surgeries (The initial one and one at 17 3/4; oddly enough, October 17th 2007)
Having a large tumor removed at such a young age (Grapefruit compared to a young child's head isn't a large difference size wise) has left several things hindered, such as social aspects, speech, memory, that part of your brain that matures as you grow. I had to relearn several things. My entire right side is also damaged; 95% of my nerves are damaged so my face is slanted on my right side and I have zero shape. I'll explain if someone asks - haha
I am mainly doing this in case there are other people that are suffering from cancer or some other sort of illness and need to talk or maybe want to know some things I'm done to cope.
There's a lot more to say but it's way too much to write, so just ask whatever, and I'll answer whatever!
Oh yeah, and here I am http://imgur.com/uvgRNYd
TL;DR - I have had cancer for 20 years and it fucked me up really, really badly.