This is Nidhi Choudhary’s story of beating Medulloblastoma, which is a malignant cancerous tumour of the brain, mostly occurring in childhood. In fact, medulloblastoma accounts for 20% of all childhood brain tumours. But you need to keep eyes on the symptoms as Constantly ignorance of symptoms can lead to Medulloblastoma . As she went through deciphering what was happening to her, she learnt that because of her ignorance of symptoms it lead Medulloblastoma, she was battling a form of cancer very rarely found in adults. Read how ignorance of symptoms can lead to Medulloblastoma and what are the symptoms. survivor story in her own words.
It was a rainy afternoon in 2008, my husband and I were playing Scrabble, sitting on the floor. I laughed very hard on a joke and pushed my head back while doing so. That was the time when I first experienced giddiness. I took sometime to get back to normal and then I vomited. We could not understand what suddenly happened. I felt like taking some rest, but when I was trying to lie down straight on my back, it had now become difficult. My head was spinning again so I lied down on sideways I felt little comfortable gradually. In the evening we visited our GP, he asked me to run through some tests and X-ray. He diagnosed me with positional vertigo. The allopathic medicines were not helping much so I went to Ahmedabad, at my parents home. There I met a homeopathic doctor, his medicines seemed to help over a period of time.
A couple of months later I slipped and fell down in the bathroom and hurt my left elbow. I felt numbness in my left hand and assumed it was because of the impact. Our GP recommended visiting a neurologist this time. With the neuro’s medicine my hand felt better. Meanwhile, a new problem had occurred. I felt I was walking towards the left when meaning to go straight. As ridiculous as it sounds now, I thought it must be because of my old shoes, so I bought a pair of new shoes. I felt better, not completely alright though, obviously. But I didn’t bother much and continued living with all this ‘new normal’. At that time, I was preparing to put up a store in Ahmedabad for women’s apparel. I was designing, buying fabric, getting the clothes stitched, etc. So for work purpose I had to travel almost everyday to the older part of city. And then I got this problem of double vision after waking up in the morning. This would last for a few minutes. I ignored this symptom too, thinking there was something wrong with my eyes and thought of visiting an ophthalmologist which I never did. I was too busy working on my venture. During one of my trips to procure some material, I could not understand the print on the fabric, it was like looking at blurred designs and then almost like looking into a kaleidoscope, the prints dancing. I got worried for the first time and it was then that I knew that this was not a simple problem with my eyes, but that it was something much more problematic.
Diagnosis of Medulloblastoma
On the next day i visited a neurologist. After thorough examination I got to know that I had lost coordination in my left limbs. He asked me to get an MRI. His reaction was also shocking that the previous neurologist didn’t recommend an MRI. Next morning was my appointment for the same. I was going for MRI but lying down straight on my back, was not comfortable anymore. So I took an injection for the nausea and hoped that I don’t vomit during the process. It was tough, i was feeling giddy the whole 40 mins. The loud noise of the machine and it seemed like my head was spinning along with it. I was praying all the time it to end as soon as possible. I didn’t know that this was the first of many MRIs I will have to go through! That same evening I went to see neurologist again with my report and got to know that I had a tumor in my brain. What I didn’t know was it was a stage IV aggressive and highly malignant tumour which was attached to the part of my small brain, the medulla. And that it was rare in adults and is called ‘Medulloblastoma‘. Doctor suggested to remove it asap. The technical diagnosis being: “Cerebellar glioma”. Next morning my husband was in Ahmedabad and we went to see a neurosurgeon Dr. Parimal Tripathi. He is one of the best in Gujarat. After consulting him, we came to know surgery and treatment may be complicated and can take long time. He suggested us to go to Mumbai as the post operative care was better there. With this began an 8 month-long and hard journey to fight this disease. (Continued in Part 2)