Jennifer Duffett Story

Four years ago, my husband and I remember that I would take Advil or Tylenol for a slight headache almost every day. We had just moved to Georgia so I just thought it was some sort of allergy to their climate. When I got pregnant shortly after, all symptoms went away.  When my son was four months, the slight headaches returned and my vision began changing. I went to my Primary Care’s office and they gave me a sinus medicine that did nothing. During this I went to Lens Crafters at least 3 times to change my prescription.

I remember I went to work on a Tuesday and spoke with my supervisor that my headache or sinus infection was not improving. She suggested I call my PCP; I did and was able to get in for an appointment later that afternoon. I spoke with my PCP and he had me describe the pain (At this point it was not so bad) but my headache was throbbing. He suggested an MRI. I thought No, No, I don’t need a MRI. I am a healthy 31 year old female.  We settled on a migraine medication.

On Wednesday, my symptoms progressed rapidly … for the worse. I can only describe the pain, because I recently went through it, as labor in my head.  I called my PCP office, they could not schedule an appointment for me and I called my husband begging him to come home, my husband took me to the ER that night. I could not open my eyes; I could not lie down or sit up without vomiting.

The CAT scan revealed a brain tumor with hemorrhage in the right temporal/occipital lobe.  On January 8, 2010, my surgery was successful, a complete tumor removal.  This encouraging news was followed by the “doom and gloom” prognosis meeting. The tumor was in fact cancerous; Stage 4 and I had so long to live. Blah Blah Blah. Thankfully I am so fortunate at how my family rallied around me. We went to MD Anderson, Mass General and Dana Farber in Boston to seek treatment. I did the standard protocol of Temodar paired with radiation. I did lose my hair and it grew back curly. God help me!  I pursued a clinical trial at Dana Farber Cancer Institute called “SAHA.”  This drug targets the cancer’s cells’ DNA and inhibits them from replicating.  I receive MRI’S every other month for the past 2 and ½ years. Mostly all have been clear except with the occasional words “enhancement,” or “suspicious spot.”  I do pursue supplemental care that includes: diet changes, vitamins, exercise and acupuncture and most importantly a POSITIVE attitude, gratitude and prayer.