Surviving central nervous system lymphoma as a preteen

My name is Mason Ermis. When I was 9 years old, I began a journey that tested my courage and strength in ways I never thought possible. We came to MD Anderson after my primary doctor diagnosed me with Diabetes insipidus, which is sometimes caused by a brain tumor.  After an MRI at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital, we learned I had a small “spot” in my brain, near my pituitary gland, and another spot near my optic nerve. The spots were too small for neurosurgeon Dr. Jeffrey Weinberg to biopsy, so all I could do was wait and continue to have MRIs to see if the spots would grow or disappear on their own. In December 2015, after losing my peripheral vision in both eyes, I had another MRI. This time, the spot near my optic nerve was large enough to biopsy. Dr. Weinberg and my pediatric neuro-oncologist, Dr. Wafik Zaky, were confident that they could safely get a biopsy so we could finally determine how to treat whatever this “spot” was. Getting to the spot was not easy, and there were possible negatives to doing the biopsy, including loss of vision or complete blindness, but I knew this was what I needed to do. Surgery took place on Feb. 11, 2016. Although I did suffer some vision loss in my left eye, the surgery was a success overall.  A rare diagnosis: central nervous system lymphoma Eight days later, we met with Dr. Zaky. He told me I had a very rare kind of cancer called central nervous system lymphoma. I had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma growing in my brain....