Life Beyond Cancer: Lindsey's Story
Lindsey graduates from Texas State University in May 2014 and hopes to begin a career as an elementary school teacher. She and her boyfriend, Justin, met two years ago through a group for young adult cancer survivors of brain tumors. They look forward to spending the rest of their lives together.
"I’m in love and I’m happy with my life," she says. "Because of cancer, I met Justin and found my future."
At age two, Lindsey was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. She survived without treatment until age 12, when she underwent surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy treatments. She spent years struggling with treatment late effects, including memory loss, weight gain, and fatigue. The tumor compressed her optic nerve, impairing her vision. She required support at school, including extra time on assignments and tests and a note taker for lectures.
"One of the most difficult parts of cancer was trying to figure out how to get through school with my new way of learning and seeing things," she says.
Throughout her early teen years, Lindsey was followed through the Children's Blood & Cancer Center Survivorship Program. She joined Survivor Challenge and became an assistant coach, training younger patients to stay fit through running. "We needed to help each other," she says. "It was a good feeling of accomplishment crossing the finish line."
Lindsey's cancer journey has been long, but she is grateful for her life. She still experiences headaches every day and her vision remains impaired, but her MRIs are clear. She loves yoga, which has helped her with strength and balance. She enjoyed working over the summer as a preschool teacher for special needs kids and looks forward to graduation.
"The awfulness of cancer doesn’t last forever," she says. "You have to take it day by day. One day you will find a way to create a life for yourself that's really awesome. Just don't ever give up hope…because hope is all there is sometimes."