How a brain tumor taught me to embrace myself

My whole life changed in June 2017. I had just finished my sophomore year at Texas Tech University. My life seemed pretty simple. I went to class, worked out, hung out with friends, and focused on my body and on fitness. Then, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Staying in shape, despite difficult brain tumor symptoms For a few years before my brain tumor diagnosis, I’d had some strange symptoms. I was always tired. Things just seemed to be so much harder than they used to be. During my freshman year of college, I had terrible headaches and a fever for over a month. I was diagnosed with mono, so I never got an MRI. I’d always enjoyed dancing, but I left my dance team at Texas Tech after the season ended because I knew I couldn’t commit to the extensive schedule. I just didn’t feel good enough. My body and appearance were always extremely important to me. So, in 2016, I switched from competitive dancing to lifting weights, which didn’t require as much memory or focus. Then, I started getting headaches almost every day. By spring 2017, I could barely get through the day. I stopped hanging out with friends because I didn’t have the energy. I would go to class, nap, workout and go straight to bed. My right arm started to go numb fairly often. I began to have visions that looked like blurry rainbows and often felt like I was floating. After finals ended I had so much pressure in my head that I couldn’t move my neck. Coming to MD Anderson for brain...