On the 8th of January, Cassy Morris was diagnosed with brain cancer. The news came under a year after she was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, even though she’d never smoked a cigarette in her life. This is her story, as she and her young family fight this new challenge.
Today, like the 19th of June 2017 – the day I was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer – is a day that will forever be etched into our memories. Because today, the 8th of January 2018, is the day I learned I have cancer in my brain too.
To say this news came as an utter shock is an understatement. Let’s start from the beginning…
On Saturday the 6th of January when getting my daughters’ breakfast I had a bizarre experience. It felt like what could only be explained as a scene from Inception (you know the movie with Leonardo?), except I was the only one experiencing it. The room literally fell on top of me, I grabbed the breakfast bar, where I was standing to prevent myself and the girls from falling. I scared the crap out of the girls. They were screaming, “Mum, mum! What’s happening? Are you OK?”
It lasted seconds but it was so real. I had to sit down, and from that moment onward the room never stopped moving. Not spinning, just moving. I felt nauseous, scared and concerned but thought I just needed to sleep it off. So that’s what I did for the majority of the day.
The next day, I woke up not much better. My husband Kane insisted I go to hospital, as they have my history. I thought we could just go to Chemist Warehouse for some medication. Luckily, my husband was switched on. So on the morning of Sunday the 7th of January we made our way over to the emergency department presenting with what I thought was extreme dizziness or vertigo. Boy, was I wrong.
It was an extremely busy morning, with no beds, although they took me straight on to a trolley hidden in reception. I was there for most of the day before I met a talented doctor, Dr Champion (no jokes – his name really is Champion) who knew something wasn’t right. He did a series of tests and ordered a CT scan and insisted I stay overnight. He wanted me to have an MRI in the morning.
The CT scan came back clear but he still wanted me to stay, because at this stage I couldn’t walk unaided. I listened.
Monday 8th of January 2018
At about 7:30am, I met with two oncologists who both said they didn’t suspect anything dire and that I should be going home after the MRI later that day. So I had the MRI suspecting nothing. I then rested. Kane arrived at the hospital not too much later on.
Later that afternoon the news that I received couldn’t have been further from my mind. In my mind, I was going home. The oncologist asked how I was feeling, to which I replied “a little better”. I asked, “did the scan show anything?”
She said yes.
Instantly, I felt a lump in my throat and my thoughts went to my girls. “What did you find?” I asked. She said “lots of little tumours all over the brain but mainly in the back of the brain”. It would explain the excruciating migraines and dizziness I’d been experiencing for the last few months. This news was like a whack to the face. It jolted us, to say the least. A series of questions entered my mind.