Sunny Thukral, 26, was of the opinion that the cause of her headaches and confusion was caused by the stress of school, grief and an uneasy breakup.
The patient was diagnosed as having glioblastoma an aggressive, incurable brain cancer that is more prevalent among men of older age.
Thukral is able to defeat odds, and her past experience has helped her to define her goals as an veteran.
First the family tragedy of Sunny Thukral’s grandfather. He died while she wasn’t at his side. “That hurt me terribly,” the 26-year-old said.
She then began the final semester at UC Davis Veterinary School, that has been ranked as no. one in the entire world. “I was incredibly stressed because I wanted to finish an excellent job,” she said.
Then, Thukral went through a breakup that was another “cherry on the top” of her emotional burden, she claimed.
Therefore, when Thukral was suffering from increasingly intense headaches in spring 2022 , and began to stumble over the most elementary calculations in the classroom, she believed it was the physical manifestation of her stress and grief.
“Maybe I’m in need of migraine medicine,” Thukral thought. At this point, around one month after her migraines started, Tylenol wasn’t cutting it.
When she arrived in urgent care, crying from confusion and pain, the staff did not prescribe medications. They provided her with an CT scan, and soon after, they began to prepare an hospital bed.
Within two weeks she was diagnosed the stage 4 glioblastoma. It is an incurable and aggressive brain tumor, and was told that the majority of patients can only survive a couple of years.
“Holy sh*t, I’m going to die in the next day,” she thought. “Tell everyone that you are in love with them.”
More than five months after her diagnosis, Thukral is exceeding doctors who had high expectations. Thukral shared her story with Insider to push for funding for research into brain cancer, and to urge people to not believe that a grim outlook is destiny.
Thukral was operated on to remove the majority of the tumor.
Thukral’s parents went to Davis when she was initially admitted to the hospital and then took their daughter back to LA the city they grew up in to receive treatment. “I do not think I allowed my parents to hold me in their arms for months,” Thukral said.
In LA Thukral’s aunt, an expert in radiology, linked Thukral to an UCLA neurosurgeon at UCLA.
Thukral was pleased the fact that the doctor spoke to her as a aspiring medical professional she hopes to become and decided to choose to have him operate. The doctor took out the majority the tumor from Thukral in June. If he had removed all of it, Thukral would have lost her right-side motor function.
In the following weeks, Thukral completed six weeks of radiotherapy. It resulted in side effects like hair loss.
Through the course of her journey, Thukral documented her experience on TikTok and gained more than 25000 followers.
“It was a complete and total shock at the start” that her story, along with its morbid humor, was a hit to people. explained.
Thukral added that posting about her private life on social media was not normal and that the majority of her first posts were likely driven by mania, which is a side result of the steroid she was taking to control inflammation in the brain.
“I thought to myself”Wow, I’m receiving all this attention for something horrible that’s going on. I’m going to keep talking about it. It makes me feel more relaxed”” Thukral said. “My brain was running like a million miles per minute.”
Although she’s off steroids and does not post often, Thukral said she doesn’t regret sharing her story as she’s been able to couple with others in similar situations.
The majority of patients suffering from glioblastoma are older males
Glioblastoma is one of the more commonly cancer of the brain, which affects less than 3 patients out of 100,000, in accordance with the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.
The symptoms can include frequent headaches and vision changes. Other symptoms include difficulties speaking, loss of appetite, as well as mood changes.
The typical age of diagnosis is 64 years old according to AANS and the majority of patients are males. Doctors aren’t aware of the reasons why certain patients develop glioblastoma. However, certain genetic conditions such as Lynch syndrome can increase the chance of developing.
“Why did I get placed inside this box?” Thukral often wonders. Thukral has never suffered from a serious health problem before.
About 40% of those who have glioblastoma make it through the first year following diagnosis, while only 17% of them make it into the following year. The way in which the cancer can embed itself into surrounding brain tissue is one of the reasons it’s difficult to cure.
“Brain cancer is among the least-funded forms of cancer” Thukral said. “And there is no cure for the type of cancer I suffer from.”
She’s determined to overcome the odds, and claims doctors believe she’ll beat them due to her age.
“If you receive an diagnosis and a prognosis you aren’t interested in hearing Don’t believe it,” Thukral said. “I’m in no way living according to an interval of three, two, four years. I’m hoping to be married. I’m planning to have children. I’m planning to watch the kids grow up. I’m going for this to occur.”
The tumor of Thukral continues to shrink
In the present, Thukral is on monthly oral chemotherapy and is experimenting with various complementary therapies that include herbal supplements as well as cannabis.
In Thukral’s most recent neuroimaging, the doctor told her to continue doing what she’s been doing since her tumor is continuing to shrink.
“I do not know what’s working or not working and do not know what is overkill however so long as things are going smoothly I’ll stick to all I have,” Thukral said.
The main signs of being left with the remnants by the tumor is cognitiveshe may lose her concentration or stumbles across phrases. She’s having a break from education until she’s linear in her thinking gets more consistent and something she’s trying to improve through practice and brain-boosting supplements, such as ones made of mushroom extracts.
However, Thukral will not be letting go of her desire to come back to her roots and concentrate on euthanasia at home for families that have to let go of pets who are suffering. She hopes to create an “comfortable and welcoming environment instead of a spooky one.”
“This incident has definitely helped me conscious of death” she stated, “and what I would like to have, as well as what I imagine my dog will wish to do when she passes away and what my grandfather would have wanted at the time he passed.”
Check out this article from the beginning on Insider
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