ONE WARRIOR with Bryanna Pratt
This is the story of Bryanna. She was dealt the shitty card of Glioblastoma – Grade 4, Brain Cancer at the age of 28. A huge WTF.
Bryanna has wisdom far past her age. Make sure you read her tips for both warriors and those supporting a warrior.
Please enjoy her story and send lots of love her way. ❤️❤️❤️
What was happening in your world at the time?
I was living a busy life, being 28 I was trying to get ahead in my career. I was working full time and studying part time so usually stressed. I was experiencing headaches which is something I had never suffered with before. I kept having episodes where my arm and face would go completely numb on the right side of my body, as well as blurred vision. Once while driving, I had an incident where I could no longer steer my car. It was terrifying.
After seeing multiple doctors, 10 hours in the emergency room and an appointment with a neurologist I was diagnosed with a severe migraine. I remember being really annoyed and hoped it wouldn’t bother me for the rest of my life.
A few weeks later I had an MRI and was called to come see the doctor shortly afterwards. I was not worried, so I told them I had an assignment due and I couldn’t make it. As the hours passed my headache became worse, my hand was so numb I couldn’t even finish my assignment, so I saw the doctor later that day.
He told me I had a brain tumour and it was 4.5cm in diameter and pressing on my brain. My heart sunk, the look on my boyfriend’s face was horrible and tears started streaming down my face. I couldn’t even say the words out loud when I called my parents.
I was admitted to the hospital the next day and was immediately hooked up to multiple machines. They put me in a hospital gown and told me to prepare for brain surgery. I really had no time to comprehend just what was happening or to even call all my family and friends.
As I slowly recovered from the operation it was then time to be discharged. My room was always busy with doctors and nurses, but the morning that I was to receive my results they did not come near me.
When the surgeon spoke with me, he told us the tumor was cancerous, and I would need Radiation and Chemotherapy, I was devastated. My mum was by my side, we held each other and cried.
Cancer in 3 words.
Devastating. Frightening. Life changing
What helped you get through the shit storm?
PERSON: My boyfriend Ben, our families, friends and Marley, our dog. He was so gentle when I got home from hospital, dogs just know!
SUPPORT GROUP: The nurses that looked after me in hospital and in treatment, were an amazing!
My family and friends helped so much, they all took turns to drive me to my appointments, even my manager. My colleagues made a food roster and they delivered the food to me, it was such a big support.
ADVICE: Go on a holiday! Although I suddenly got nervous about getting on a plane, we already had a few holidays booked so we chose not to cancel them, it was refreshing to get away. Be prepared to explain your situation to airport security, they wanted me to take my beanie off in front of everyone, it was emotional.
RITUAL: Spending time in my garden was so therapeutic, my boyfriend set up a day bed on our balcony, it was so nice to sit there and relax.
The radiation was the cause of my hair loss, leaving me with a patch of hair on one side
Golden tip for the friend and family of a cancer warrior.
Just being there is enough, checking in to see how they are going is important. As I wasn’t allowed to drive, it was so nice when my girlfriends got me out of the house, it didn’t matter what we were doing. It took my mind off things
How has the whole cancer ride changed you and your life?
Cancer has changed my life. Although devastating it has showed me just how precious life is and how extraordinarily kind people can be. It has been a wakeup call to enjoy every minute and every day.
I feel like cancer has taken a lot from me; It tested my emotions and my ability to handle a variety of situations, but I know I came out stronger.
I tried not to appear sick but once my hair was gone, it was very real and there was no hiding it.
Golden tip for new warriors.
- Some days are just shit. I try to remind myself that there are still so many positives to be thankful for in life.
- Be careful which groups or forums you join. I left most groups as quickly as I joined.
- Do not search your diagnosis on google.
- Things will get tough when you return to your everyday life, it is an emotional rollercoaster and it’s challenging.
- Not everyone knows what to say. My diagnosis has been too much for a lot of people to handle and some chose not to say anything at all
And I'm super stoked to tell you that after a bunch of radio and chemo cocktails, Bryanna is now in remission. HELL YES! 🎉🎉🎉