A Story Of Recovery From Spinal
Cord Tumor Surgery
By Dawn S.
"The first thing I remember after surgery is being able to move my hands and feet and breathe on my own. I remember smiling. I was not paralyzed. My neurosurgeon later told me that I said, ‘I’m a rock star.’ I probably did. It sounds like something I would say."
So begins Dawn’s recovery from a surgery that removed a spinal cord tumor located in what doctors refer to as "a high real estate area" of her spine — cervical levels 1 and 2
, just below the brain. The tumor was a grade II ependymoma.
Adults with spinal cord tumors are exceedingly rare, and written accounts of what it’s like to survive tumor-removal surgery are even more rare. Dawn was told that things would be "different" after surgery, but she had no idea just how strange her sensory experiences would turn out to be.