For about a month I was experiencing a loss of feeling in my left arm. I kept going to my doctor but he just wanted to wait and see. After a month, I was almost unable to move my left hand, and was noticing a loss of feeling in my left leg. When I told my doctor he sent me immediately to an MRI, where I got my brain scanned. They told me and my family they found a growth, so they sent me to a hospital. After a day or two of neurological scans on my brain, they knew it was a tumor. They sent me straight to surgery, where they removed all of the tumor. After a week or so, I was sent home from the hospital. I am doing great now, and I have a cool scar on my head. AMA. Proof: P.S. I'm only 14.

Incase Anyone is wondering, the exact name of my tumor is called Pleomorphic Xanthoastrocytoma (It's not as scary as it sounds).

Comments: 216 • Responses: 82  • Date: 

doneitnow86 karma

Holy shit and you're 14? Damn, man, that's badass. Good job and good luck in the future.

el___diablo52 karma

That was exactly my thought - 14 !

At that age, the only thing I had to worry about was not getting caught masturbating.

Best of luck man.

Greenlllama42 karma

Ya, I have to worry about that AND a tumor. Haha. Just kidding. Or am I?

Greenlllama50 karma

Thank you very much.

TheBirdKevin43 karma


Greenlllama62 karma

I actually took it pretty well. Inside I was fairly nervous, but accourding to my family it looked like it didn't even bother me.

itsbroady36 karma

"It's not a toomah!"

Greenlllama45 karma

Haha I can't even imagine how many times I said that to my mom just to calm her down in the hospital.

2manylings32 karma

Did you have any other noticeable symptoms apart from the loss of feeling? Did you think the worst with the symptoms or was it a complete shock when it was announced?

Greenlllama45 karma

The tumor gave me occasional headaches and vomiting. But I was the most nervous about the loss of feeling in my arm.

mechanicus31 karma

Silver lining: easier to give yourself a stranger.

--lolwutroflwaffle--10 karma

A stranger?

TheWorstPossibleName17 karma

...uh, its when you jack off and it feels like someone else is doing it because you can't feel your hand.

--lolwutroflwaffle--8 karma

This is... Er... I should probably do some personal, rigorous (scientific) experimentation to verify these claims. I should be no longer than 5 days. I will report back with my findings. Again, this is only for science.

i_crave_more_cowbell2 karma

It's an added experience if you dunk your hand in ice water till it's numb.

Greenlllama7 karma

That would feel awful.

Greenlllama1 karma

You have no idea...

mjh8428 karma

that's a bad ass scar dude...glad you're ok.

Greenlllama17 karma

Thank you.

justaburner27 karma

So I take it no superpowers resulted from this?

But glad you are doing better!

Greenlllama37 karma

It's unbelievable how many people commented about me having superpowers or being cyborg. But thank you very much.

justaburner8 karma

Cause we are all nerds lol.

You seriously have a Halloween costume for life with that awesome scar.

Greenlllama17 karma

Haha. Yeah it is pretty cool.

sonofabear179 karma

I have a similar scar from tumor surgery at 15. At 22 now I can confirm it makes for a great pick-up line in bars, I usually go with "I got it in an knife fight with a mexican drug lord."

Greenlllama6 karma

That's a good one. I might have to use that on some girls. With your permission, of course.

TheodoreBooBear20 karma

After going through something like this does it give you a new perspective in life.

Greenlllama47 karma

Although it should, it really hasn't change my life all that much. I think it was because all of this happened so fast I never really took the time to take it all in until it was all over.

orthogonality19 karma

So was it a benign tumor?

Were you awake during surgery?

Greenlllama31 karma

The tumor was benign, and they put me to sleep before surgery.

Aruu18 karma

You're only fourteen? You come across as being so incredibly mature, especially with how you're coping in the aftermath. You're quite the badass! You've got an amazing future ahead of you.

When my mum was recovering from cancer, she found watching British comedy shows helped her feel better. Were there any television shows or movies that helped you during your recovery? Or something like books or video games?

Greenlllama25 karma

Actually, Breaking Bad helped me. Something about someone with cancer who became the world's best meth cook made me feel a little better.

renzss15 karma

Did it hurt? Was the pain bearable?

Greenlllama29 karma

The pain was bearable, but don't get me wrong, it hurt. Alot. Fortunately, I could call for a nurse any time, and ask for pain medicine, which helped alot.

crumbbelly14 karma

What part of the brain specifically was the tumor located? Have you lost any fine motor function or speech-linguistic ability?

Greenlllama16 karma

Now i don't know the specific-medical name for the part of the brain. But it was basically just on the whole right side of my brain. I have gained all of the strength back in my arm and leg. And I can speak just fine.

roses2693 karma

From his symptoms is sounds like it was pressing against the motor strip on the right side which is next to the parietal lobe. My father had a arteriovenous malformation in that area that broke (basically a brain aneurysm) and lost complete feeling in his left arm and leg when the vein broke.

Greenlllama5 karma

Wow you really know what you're talking about. Are you a doctor or anything like that?

Danihas4arms13 karma

Were there any odd lasting side affects after surgery?

Greenlllama22 karma

My left eyebrow and the left side of my bottom lip sags down just a little bit, but nothing major.

Danihas4arms10 karma

Oh, thanks for answering, and congratulations on the removal going well!

Greenlllama14 karma

Thank you very much.

MathBender12 karma

I'm glad they were able to remove all of the tumor. Did they tell you how big it was? Also is there any chance you might develop more tumors in the future? Thank you for doing this AMA, for what you've gone through you're in great spirits!

Greenlllama22 karma

I saw a picture after they did my scan. It was about the size of a golf ball, and there was a sack of fluid about 3 times bigger than the tumor. The sack of fluid was actually the reason of my symptoms. But if they just removed the sack it would just grow back. And to answer your second question, we don't know yet whether it will come back.

Kristophilus17 karma

And to answer your second question, we don't know yet whether it will come back.

Well, you have our hopes that it doesn't and that you can live the rest of your life without excessive worry that it will.

Greenlllama5 karma

Thank you very much.

WhoAteJohnGalt9 karma

Now that you've had cancer, will you ever consider cooking the purest crystal meth?

Greenlllama18 karma

Yes. Everyone shall know by my street name, Heisenburg.

WhoAteJohnGalt6 karma

In all seriousness though, please stay well. After all, you need to live to at least 52.

Greenlllama4 karma

What you think someone might show up at the door and shoot me? No no no no no. I am the danger, I am the one who KNOCKS!! but seriously thank you.

sarcasmplease4 karma

Since the tumor was benign, it wasn't considered cancer was it? You will probably have the best "what I did on my summer vacation" story when you get back to school.

Greenlllama4 karma

It was not cancer, and I said the same exact thing.

Space0fAids6 karma

You look like you're going to murder me on your second picture.

But for my question: Did you have insurance (If you live in America)? Or will you have to deal with debt?

Greenlllama6 karma

I believe I have insurance.

Kilgore-troutdale6 karma

How do you feel about knowing more about your body than the doctor? Do you ever wonder why you weren't scanned as soon as you knew it was something different? I think it's cool that you recognized the problem. When you are older, always trust these feelings of right and wrong that you have about yourself. I'm glad you're 100%! You rock!

Greenlllama13 karma

I never really suspected it of being something as big as a tumor, until I was sent to the MRI. So I guess the doctor had the same, if not a similar thought process as myself. Though when I told him it spread, he looked awfully concerned. I'm very glad he recognized this as a problem before it was too late. And thank you for your kindness.

Kilgore-troutdale3 karma

I think it scares me a little that time was wasted. Sometimes that matters. I don't trust some doctors, as you can see. I'm glad you finally got fixed up by returning to the doctors that could help you.

Greenlllama15 karma

I actually googled my surgeon, and has ranked top #15 neurosurgeon in America. So that really took a weight off my shoulders.

RarewareUsedToBeGood5 karma

In the picture with the scar, did you have a full out mohawk or just that side of your head shaved?

Greenlllama2 karma

Just the one side of my head. Later on I shaved my head into a mohawk. When the scar was all healed, I just shaved my head.

AntiRachie5 karma


Greenlllama7 karma

Yes, I do. Every 6 weeks I think they told me. I don't know how long I have to go back for, but I think it may for the next 5 years.

micmer5 karma

I'm glad to hear the tumor was benign. Forgive me if this is a repeat question but how long was your recovery?

Greenlllama7 karma

Well I left the hospital July 3rd, so about a month and a half.

ilikeeatingbrains2 karma

Did you have to get any more surgeries?two more perhaps

Greenlllama3 karma

No just the one.

Drublix5 karma

No questions, just glad you are doing ok and sharing my own story.

My father had a benign brain tumor 3 years ago. The surgeon told us he would not live until the next day if they didnt operate. He was hours from going into a coma, actually it could happen any minute he told us, and if he did they werent sure if he would wake up.

8-10 weeks before all of this he started losing feeling in his left arm, constant headaches and he told me that when he walked he felt like he was tilting towards the left. I noticed he constantly grabbed the top of his nose and closed his eyes, the way you do when you get brain freeze. That and after he let his hand slide over his head and down his neck.

Being the old 'tuff man he didnt go see a doctor no matter how much we told him to

Finally it got so bad that he could not stand on his own, nor hold any food down. So my Mother carried the Man out of bed (I dont live at home anymore, and I was at work), she said she first dragged him by the arms up from bed but he just fell backwards. So she carried him best she could out to the car, drove him to the closest doctor and carried him inside.

He was told to go directly for MRI scans, they found a tumor the size of a golf ball in the back area of his head, towards the spine which was cutting off some type of fluid. He was rushed within hours to a bigger hospital and he was operated 10-12 hours later.

The next day he was perfectly fine with a bad ass scar on the back of his head, lying in ICU wondering when he could go home again because he was really bored.

He also has no memory of anything from the month or so before all of this, the only vague thing he could remember was the ambulance ride to the hospital that did the surgery. He said every bump in the road made him vomit and gave him deadly horrible headaches.

My father is doing perfectly fine now, he seems to enjoy life more than ever before.

Greenlllama1 karma

I'm glad to hear your father is doing well now. Thank you for sharing that with me.

roses2693 karma

Two questions: 1. Could they tell the tumor wasn't cancerous before they did the surgery or did you have to wait for confirmation afterwards?
2. Did you have to do any physical rehabilitation to get feeling and movement back into your arm and leg or did the sensation and strength just come back after they removed the tumor?

Greenlllama4 karma

They were almost positive is wasn't cancerous, but I did have to wait for actually confirmation. Actually I had to learn how to walk again, because I had been laying down for 8 days straight. But I learned pretty quickly.

SnooSnooCookie1 karma

I had been laying down for 8 days straight

Crap man, I had to have a skin graft over a burn I got on my leg and I wasn't supposed to walk too much but not walking for 2 or 3 days drove me nuts. I couldn't imagine not walking for more than a week.

Greenlllama1 karma

I didn't mind not walking because my room had a portal computer/TV hooked up to the wall so I could watch Breaking Bad, or go on reddit anytime I wanted.

Trent_Hyster3 karma

As someone fairly close to your age, how'd it affect your schooling?

Greenlllama7 karma

I had to go to the nurses office almost everyday. I was really starting to slip on my grades. Somehow I managed to complete all my work for the year with passing grades, fortunately.

Dear_Occupant3 karma

Obviously, the doctors did a really good job of cutting you under your hair line, so you can cover it up. But I just have to ask...

Have you thought about what kind of tattoo you're going to get to go along with that amazing scar? There are a lot of different directions you could go with it, and nearly all of them are fucking badass.

Greenlllama5 karma

Actually, my brother did my hair (recently). And I don't think I'm going to get a tattoo on my head.

Solnai3 karma

Not a question, but congrats on the use of past tense.

Greenlllama2 karma

Um, thank you. Haha

babyface1753 karma

Well done on recovering and overcoming you're tumor it truly is a horrible thing to go through and it's good that it was detected early, I know first hand what it feels like to be apart of this. as my dad had a stage 3 tumor undetected for about 10 years and he got sick so fast but thought it for 2 years. Sadly he wasn't as lucky as you were.

It looks like it was in a similar place to his (front right lobe of the brain) ?

and did you also get great help from Macmillan?

Greenlllama4 karma

I'm sorry for your dad. If you are referring to my surgeon, my surgeon's name was Dr. Albert Telfeian, I believe.

tenderheaded2 karma

Do you have any idea what may have caused the tumor? Have you ever thought about it?

Greenlllama3 karma

Doctors have no clue. I couldn't even begin to speculate what could have caused a tumor.

tenderheaded1 karma

I kind of figured as much. That's what's so unsettling about it, like how would one prevent another tumor from occurring if you have no idea how the other one got their in the first place.

Greenlllama2 karma

They said this tumor is extremely rare. So I don't really stay up nights thinking about it coming back.

ads2152 karma

I am very glad you're doing ok. That would scare the crap out of most people. Sounds like you handled it really, really well. All the best for the future.

Greenlllama3 karma

Thank you very much.

connorjquinn2 karma

That's insane man, glad to hear you're doing okay. Was your tumor something that could've evolved into something more dangerous if you didn't catch it at the time you did? Do people at school treat you differently at school having gone through something that most people would consider very "scary"?

Greenlllama3 karma

I could have very much grown into something much worse. Only my friends know about the tumor right now, because I haven't started school yet.

tyronebiggums_52 karma

How was it stage 2 if it was benign?

Greenlllama4 karma

stage 1 is benign. stage 2 is slightly aggressive, but benign. Stage 3 is cancerous. and stage 4 is aggressive and and cancerous.

Tr3v0r2 karma

Congrats on your recovery.

My father was diagnosed with a stage 3 glioblastoma tumor last year, terminal. Despite surgery and chemo he's at home slowly regressing.

I left the job I love and temporarily parted ways with a fiancée I adore to come home and take care of him. It's a tough go.

I'm glad this isn't the case for you!

Greenlllama2 karma

I am so sorry for you and your father.

chickenboneneck2 karma

Did you use the stage select cheat code to get to stage 2 or did you legitimately beat stage 1 first?

Greenlllama4 karma

I actually beat the first stage.

kitfyre2 karma

How does it feel getting upstaged by the stage 4 tumor guy?

Greenlllama1 karma

I kind of feel like he did that on purpose.

oberonbarimen1 karma

So you gotta make up epic stories about that scar to impress the ladies. Anyone wanna pitch in. My first suggestion is to say you got it saving your entire platoon in Nam. And when they question your age add in time travel and build upon your awesomeness from there by elaborating on the time travel story. Then if they pressure you to tell the truth you hit them with cancer and you are so getting laid. Wear a rubber, don't do drugs. See I turned it around at the end and made it responsible advice.

Greenlllama1 karma

Holy crap my brother's friend said something about me in Nam too. He said someone threw a machete a me. They tied someone to it and he karate chopped my head almost in half. But I fended him off with my bare hands.(He was a little drunk.)

Okeedoke1 karma

My sister was about the same age when doctors found a similar tumor in her brain. Scary shit. I'm glad to hear your doing fine.

Greenlllama1 karma

I'm sorry to hear that, I hope she's doing well now. And thank you.

fiftytakennames1 karma

I cant't help but thing of Arnold Schwarzenegger when someone mention a tumor.

No question here, best of luck!

Greenlllama2 karma

I kept saying that to my mom in the hospital when she was crying just to see her smile.

cozy_lolo1 karma

Would you rather have people shower you with sympathy because of your condition, or treat you no differently? Or neither of those? Likely a combination of both, I'd assume

Greenlllama2 karma

I WANT TO BE TREATED THE SAME!! So many people treat me like I'm 4 because of this, but trust me, I'm fine and can handle myself well.

I_do_not_like_me1 karma


Greenlllama2 karma

Wow, That's amazing. I'm glad to hear your mother is strong. And thank you.

dp801 karma

Did you regain sensation in your arm? Was it immediate, if you did?

Greenlllama2 karma

I did regain full strength and sensation in my arm. It was almost immediate, only took a few days for it to all come back.

pnwgirl1 karma

You're right, that is a very cool scar. Were you awake during the surgery? I am glad you are doing well. :)

Greenlllama2 karma

I was asleep during surgery. And thank you.

Tuco_bell1 karma

puberty is doing you dirty. btw glad youre OK!!

Greenlllama2 karma

Ya, I was a little hesitant to take pictures of my whole face, but in the end I just said whatever. And thank you.

HertzDonuts1 karma

I had a pleomorphic adenoma! I mean it's no brain tumor, it's literally some harmless tumor that lies somewhere in the salivary gland. Anyway I just wanted to say good job dealing with this, and you'll have such an easy college app story!

for the sake of an AMA, what was it like after you had the initial diagnosis?

Greenlllama3 karma

At first they thought it was a stage 1 tumor, which is pretty much harmless. So I and my family were slightly relieved. When they told me they were wrong and it was a stage 2, I was a little bit nervous, but I believed I would be fine.

dabrycemhan1 karma


Greenlllama1 karma

They definitely got worse over time.

naniii991 karma

My best friend died of a brain tumor, you are very lucky.

Greenlllama3 karma

I'm sorry to hear about your friend.

ThinkingThomas1 karma

No question, just wanted to say I'm glad it turned out well for you.

Greenlllama3 karma

Thank you

BriMcC1 karma

That is a badass fucking scar. How are you feeling? What have you learned from this experience?

Greenlllama2 karma

I'm feeling perfect, I guess I have.

TheReasonableCamel1 karma

What was it like discovering that you had a brain tumor? I can't imagine that, especially at only 14.

Greenlllama2 karma

I didn't freak out like most would expect. I mainly just kept my cool throughout the whole experience.

Loggan081 karma

you shaved your head the wrong way.

Greenlllama2 karma

What do you mean.

jbeast521 karma

Has your life changed alot since the tumor? I'm asking because my dad had a brain tumor when I was 3 and now his right arm is useless and he has a limp when he walks.

Greenlllama2 karma

My life is almost back to normal now, but I'm sorry to hear about your dad.

Dumbosgreatestfan1 karma

What are your thoughts on well...death? Like did you think about it at all or did it never really cross your mind? :)

Greenlllama2 karma

On the way to my MRI, before I or the doctors knew it was a tumor. I was extremely nervous it would be cancer and I might die. Even on the outside I seemed nervous. But they told me the tumor was very treatable, and my surgeon was extremely well qualified, and very confident. So I relaxed a lot after that.

theycallmecpk1 karma

The stitches on your head look like a 5, which stands for 5/5 on your badass level.

Greenlllama2 karma

Haha thank you.

Dsurian1 karma

How're the haircuts goin? - gotta warn the stylist about the scar tissue?

Greenlllama3 karma

The stylist is my brother actually.

kryria1 karma

Is the feeling still lost in your left leg and arm? I like your positive attitude towards the scar! Good Luck!

Greenlllama2 karma

I have full feeling in my arm and leg. Thank you.

joannasauer1 karma

Were you awake or asleep for the surgery? Because I know sometimes, especially for brain surgeries, they'll keep the patient awake to ask them questions and keep them conscious.

Greenlllama2 karma

They put me to sleep.

Cashdog6171 karma

So are you gonna make up a story about your scar like you were stabbed in the head saving a puppy? You know to impress the ladies ;)

Greenlllama2 karma

Why thank you. hehe

kiiaass1 karma

I <3 you. That is all

Greenlllama1 karma

I <3 you too.

PoopyToilet1 karma

you okay?

Greenlllama1 karma


d0pesky1 karma

Reading your answers you seemed really calm about this situation and I feel that you're going to accomplish something big in life with this kind of attitude.

When you experienced the loss of feeling in your arm, was it constant or occured just multiple times a day? Were your headaches severe and did you vomit while having headaches or it didn't relate to that?

Greenlllama2 karma

The loss of feeling in my arm was constant. My head aches were mildly severe, and I vomited only when having headaches.

zeebrow1 karma

One of my best friends in elementary school went through the exact same thing. His dad likes to tell the story that the steroids they gave him post op made him hungry enough to eat three steaks.

So how is/was your appetite? Did they give you similar meds?

Greenlllama1 karma

Actually, the steroids made me not want to eat. Luckily I only have to take an anti-seizure medication that has no side effect now.

BlueGreenOrange1 karma

Have you or those closest to you noticed any behavioural changes either from the tumor or post-surgery?

Greenlllama1 karma

No. Everything's pretty much back to normal now.

accountNo121 karma

Notice any changes post surgery? Personality change, Memory problems etc.

Greenlllama1 karma

No. I'm the same now.

MartinSchou1 karma

Have you considered adding a 3rd stage to reach a Lunar orbit?

Greenlllama1 karma

Hmmm. Not a bad idea.

Trelalala1 karma

Are you having any further treatment for the cancer? Are you angry your doctor didn't take your problem more seriously before it was found you had the tumor?

Greenlllama1 karma

I have to go back to an MRI every 6 weeks for the next 5 years. And I'm taking an anti-seizure mediation for the next 3 months.

mjh840 karma

I know you mentioned your eye brow and lip being a little saggy...but I looked at that pic you posted before you mentioned that...and I never got that impression.

Greenlllama1 karma

Well, when I first left the hospital, it was definitely noticeable. It got better over time. But if you look closely, they are just barely sagging.

braesthomson0 karma

That scar is sweet. Is it bad to say I'm jealous of it?

Greenlllama1 karma

Not at all, my brother said the same thing.

CraigNoList0 karma

Why ask the question if you're not going to get to answer it?

Greenlllama2 karma

I'm sorry, I had to go somewhere for a little bit. If you have a question. Please feel free to ask, because I am here pretty much for the rest of the night.