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My brain cancer journeyHi, I'm Shauna Petersen, married to John and have three grown up children in their 20s/30s. Since 2005 I have worked as a lecturer and researcher with Leadership Research International at the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba. I completed my Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) on teacher leadership in 2016 so am now Dr Shauna Petersen. 😊The day after submitting my PhD in June 2016, I had an operation where it was found I have a deadly brain cancer called Glioblastoma Multiforme IV. After my operation, we were told my life expectancy wouldn't be more than 12 months. Unaware at the time, I also suffered a stroke during the operation which paralysed the right side of my body. I have lost 50% of my vision and have short term memory loss which will worsen over time. Cognitive functioning is also affected.The good news is that it has been 2 years since my surgery and I'm still here! Over that time, we have been attempting to maintain a nice balance between rehabilitation as well as focusing on the quality of life. I am on chemotherapy for one week every month for the rest of my life, but as its role is to keep the cancer at bay, it's a small price to pay!I noted that Toowoomba has an annual Brain Cancer walk around Queen's Park and added it to my 2018 bucket list. Serving a dual purpose, it’s a worthwhile fundraiser for a much needed cause and an opportunity to continue building the skills that we've personally been working on the last 2 years since my operation - my physical strength, social and cognitive skills. In some small way, the story of my journey may contribute to the journey of others and the opportunity to fund further research in this field. Brain cancer does not mean the end of life when, like others, we still have an unknown quantity and quality of life to live.Best wishes for your journey.Dr Shauna Petersen
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