We believe I was born with a brain tumor, but the symptoms didn't start until 1988 when I was 5 years old. I was having major headaches and was vomiting every morning. My PCP didn't have a clue what was going on. When we decided to go to Mass General they found the tumor. Since the tumor is located towards the center of the brain they could not remove it so they installed a shunt and immediately started me on radiation treatment. The radiation shrunk the tumor down to almost nothing and I had regular yearly MRI scans and visits with my Neurologist. I had a normal childhood, went to school, had jobs and kinda forgot about the tumor. So in 2004 I missed my yearly checkup. I went for a checkup at the end of 2005 and the tumor had grown back. They did a biopsy and I began Chemo Therapy. 1 year of Chemo stopped the tumor from growing larger and we decided we would just wait to see what happens next. I had yearly checkups and MRIs. In 2011 I began having weakness on the left side of my body as if I had a stroke. An MRI revealed that a cyst had grown next to the tumor and was putting pressure on the right side of my brain. The cyst would have to be drained to relieve pressure. It was up to me to decide when this needed to be done depending on how weak my left side was getting. I was looking forward to going back to school and starting a new job, so I decided to have this taken care of. At the beginning of 2012 I had the cyst drained and they installed a catheter. I have been going to physical therapy and slowly regaining strength in my left side. I love the fact that the same Neurosurgeon has been working on me since I was 5 years old. Though there is still a big risk, they now have the technology to remove the tumor. We'll just have to wait and see what happens next. I may have a couple of bald spots on my head caused by the radiation and permanent ringing in my ears, but everything I have experienced has made me a stronger person.