Astrocytoma survivor: Why I chose MD Anderson for treatment

I believe everything happens for a reason. So, when I was diagnosed with anaplastic astrocytoma — an aggressive type of brain cancer — in February 2017, I figured maybe it was so I could help someone else get through that same thing later on. That’s just the way I look at life. Whatever I can do to help people, I want to do it. That’s why I’m sharing my story. Because I went from having multiple seizures a day to having virtually no symptoms at all. My cancer has not shown any sign of growth since May 2017. And it’s all due to the treatment I received at MD Anderson. My brain cancer diagnosis I started having fainting spells around 1996, when I was in my mid-20s. My doctor thought they were heart-related, so he sent me to a cardiologist. I was diagnosed with syncope, or a temporary loss of consciousness caused by an irregular heartbeat. The cardiologist prescribed a heart medication. That solved the problem for almost 20 years. Then, about three years ago, I started having trouble with fainting spells again. I never got a headache or anything, but sometimes I’d perceive a certain smell or feel a strange sensation on my skin, like cold cream was being poured over me. My cardiologist sent me to another specialist for some additional testing. That doctor recommended a pacemaker. I had one installed, but that still didn’t solve the problem. I continued to have fainting episodes, and it took me almost five minutes to recover from each one. I saw a neurologist, who determined that these were actually seizures....