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Keeping the Faith




Submitted by:
Mary Beth Tupa

Jaqui had just started her dream job as an pediatric registered nurse in October 2017 at the age of 23. Almost immediately she started noticing migraines. She did not think much of it since she was experiencing new types of stress. She called her primary care doctor who agreed what she was experiencing was probably migraines. Her doctor prescribed migraine medications and a MRI of her brain- “just to be sure.” She was registering for college classes when she got the call-“There was a lesion on your scan. You need to see a neurosurgeon”. She had a consultation with the neurosurgeon on January 30, 2017.She was admitted the same day and a variety of tests and scans were performed. On January 31, 2017 she had an EVT surgery. Her tumor was blocking the flow of cerebral spinal fluid which was causing the pain and placing her at risk for a stroke. An external shunt was placed in her brain to relieve the spinal fluid pressure. On February 3, 2017 the doctors decided to biopsy the tumor to determine if it was cancerous.This would be her second brain surgery in 5 days. The pressures in her skull were still significantly alleviated and a permanent internal shunt was placed. On February 8, 2017 the pineal parenchymal tumor was removed. Less than 1% of brain tumors are of this type and there is very little research. Given the rarity of her tumor, she has MRI scans every 6 months. January 2020 marked her third year anniversary since her brain surgeries. To this day she has had all clear scans.