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Rainbow Experience

Almost 5 years have passed since I was diagnosed with a Meloblastoma, i.e. brain tumour, now I look back and see it as a nightmare which "helped" me become the person I am today.

I had just turned 16 and was about to finish form 5 and do my 'O' levels. During this period I felt terrible headaches, so hurtful that I would need to lie down. After several visits to the doctor, my parents insisted on carrying out a CT scan, even though the doctors had said it was all due to tension for the exams. When I got to know all this, I hadn't yet realised the extent of the problems I was about to face.

After the scan was made, I spent 2 weeks in hospital for monitoring, thus missing my English and French orals ('O' level). My parents went to discuss the plan of action, to see how they could prevent this from recurring. When they came back home and explained the situation to me, I felt as though all my plans, all my hopes and all my dreams were crushed and nullified. Doing 2 years of chemo and radio therapy could have meant missing 2 years of school and having to the o levels later on. Doctors suggested that I should do these exams regardless.

At that moment in time, I just wanted to wake up from my nightmare, nothing was important anymore. My parents convinced me to give it a try and after discussing this with some of my teachers, thanks to everybody's support, I decided to give them a try. I did my morning exams at Boffa hospital before radio therapy. Since I had radio therapy every day, I used to go home to sleep and eat, and my mum used to take me to the afternoon exams. My mum found a day in the week when I didn't have any exams (this was on Thursday) and I used to spend my mornings at Boffa and in the afternoon, head to Wonderland St. Luke's for Chemo Therapy. The treatment's effects would tire me out and therefore I was never able to study, ironically I had slept in my religion 'o' level.

During this time my stays in wonderland were prolonged and my morale was down. My family and the very friendly and cheerful staff helped me a lot throughout this period and encouraged me to go on. I had lost around 20kg by now since my taste was gone and the little food I ate was junk food because that was the only food I could bare.

One morning I received a sms from Matsec department with the results! I "opened" the message and find out that I had passed all of them. This was great news and it made me feelcapable again.

Now that the 'O' levels were in the bag, I had to decide whether to continue my studies and go to sixth form. After much thought, I decided to try my luck. I applied at MCAST, Junior College and De La Salle where I had spent 11 years. With some support from friends, family and past teachers, I was admitted to De La Salle.

My schooling life was not easy; my memory had been affected by the therapy which had been intensified. I didn't want to miss school so I used to go to therapy on Saturday morning till Sunday evening and at around midnight when my therapy was over, I used to go home, sleep and wake up the following morning for school. It wasn't easy, but with the support from the people around me I managed to scrape through.

Treatment was over, however I still had to recover my memory and fitness since every time I ran and exercised I used to get dizzy and loose my balance. I faced my A levels and with the help of a re-sit I managed to get in to University. This was a huge achievement and feat for me. I had gone against all odds and managed to succeed. This made me exceptionally happy and gave me a sense of success although I knew the road ahead wouldn't be easy! This experience has turned me into someone better, both spiritually and emotionally.

Today I am almost 21 and in the final year of my course i.e. BSC (business and computing). I enjoy my life to the full, but I know that had I given up the fight I wouldn't be in this state! This experience has helped me realise what is truly important in life, and now I can see the world in a different and better light.

I hope that my story can be of benefit to others. My words to you are to never give up, even in the darkest hour, faith in God, will power and support from the people around you will help you get through this difficult moment.

I ask all parents, family, friends and all others who can give a helping hand to the victims of such a sickness to unite and support the individual. Just a single word of encouragement may tip the scales to a favourable position; I speak from firsthand experience.

I end my story by thanking all the people who helped me out especially my family, friends, and Wonderland/Rainbow staff and last but not least Dr. Calvagna and his team for all the support and effort they have shown and continually provide to me and to the other patients of Rainbow.

A big thank you from the heart.



Rainbow Experience


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