Ashley Kwiatkowski Ashley K

First post: Jul 21, 2016 Latest post: Apr 3, 2024
I'll start my story from the spring of 2016. I went to the doctor to get on medication for what I thought was the feeling of anxiety and depression. The "side effects" to the medication just continued to get worse.  Come to find out now that all along my "side effects" have been seizure episodes. Had to find out the hard way but at least I started to get some answers. 

Fast forward to July 13th 2016, I woke up feeling ill and exhausted. I went to work and felt a little off, but tried my best to make it through the day. I eventually decided to go home early in the afternoon to my parent’s house and go straight to bed. My parents  eventually came home to find me asleep in bed still with no energy. As most of you know, I don't stop, even if I am sick. Thank God for my mom’s 'motherly' instinct, she forced me out of bed and they drove me to Regions hospital ER. I was first checked in to the hospital for side effects from medications. While waiting for the nurse to check my vitals, my mom noticed a bump on my head and asked me what happened.  I told her I fell the night before, but didn’t remember falling.  She quickly called a nurse and asked for CT scan thinking I had a concussion. The CT scan was done, the ER doctor came back in and showed us that there is a large mass present, they have showed it to the neurosurgery department and they would like a MRI done to see what the mass was. I went straight into an IV infused MRI scan. The doctor came back in and gave us the horrifying news of the mass being a brain tumor. Not something you think you’re going to hear originally being brought to the hospital for a reaction to medications.  
I spent 3 days in the hospital ICU where we were more educated on being diagnosed with a brain tumor. Once my night time seizures were under control I was able to go home… well to my parents. 

Appointments were set up with neurosurgeons and oncologists right away both at Regions and Mayo Clinic. A few weeks later I had a  MRI guided tumor resection at Mayo where they were able to remove about 80% of the tumor. It was then confirmed that I have a Astrocytoma Grade 3 brain tumor. I underwent Radiation and Chemotherapy at Regions hospital in the summer of 2016. 

In October 2016 I started a devoce called The Optune. It is a set of 4 medical patches i wear on my head 24/7 that use electrowaves to help distroy dividing cancer cells, keep new tumors from forming and keep my current tumor at bay. I have gotten used to the daily shaving of my head, applying the patches, and constantly having my head warm. I make the best of it and its not going to stop me from living my life. I appreciate all the support we have been given and continue to get! 💛

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