Hello! Welcome to my journey. I am Kelsey. Born October 11, 1985 in Redondo Beach, CA. Thus far my life has been great! I am blessed with an amazing mom, dad and younger sister. My parents taught my sister and I the value of hard work, dedication, kindness and the importance of traveling. I went to school in Redondo Beach until college where I decided it was time to explore and find out what this beautiful world has to offer. I studied abroad in Salamanca, Spain and then Oxford, England from the ages of 19-20. It was 100% the best experience of my life and if you are reading this I recommend studying abroad for you or someone you know. It has made me the person I am today.
After that I continued my education at UNLV where I graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Event Management and Food and Beverage. After graduating I left Las Vegas and moved back to California where I had tons of amazing jobs in the event planning industry including starting my own company. I ended up leaving the industry in 2013 and started as an independent brand partner with a holistic health & wellness company. The experience ended up changing my life for the best and what I never imagined could happen. I have been able to work from anywhere at any time and finally felt at ease. I created financial freedom and time for myself which led to a lot of travel not just for work but for personal experience. It has also been the biggest blessing these past 2 years, I got to continue to work from home while in recovery.
My last big trip "before brain cancer" was to Thailand in December 2015. I traveled the country 3 weeks and ended with a yacht charter over NYE into 2016. Little did I know that charter would turn into the best week of my life and meeting my now husband. Fast forward to now 2020, I am married to the Captain of that charter in Thailand, Philip Taveira. We got married in our now home town of Portimao, Portugal on September 2, 2017 with 114 of our friends and family from all around the world.
Life was good….but it still is. I WILL NOT let a brain tumor determine my happiness and future. I discovered my brain tumor just a week after being back from Thailand in January 2016 and went in for surgery days after. Philip flew to be by my side the day before surgery and to see me after. For 2 years I continued on my life like nothing really happened. I feel I was left in the dark about my diagnosis. The surgeon and doctors made me feel as if they removed the tumor and I was good to recover and then move on with life, like I did. I was referred to an oncologist at UCLA and those 2 years had been followed up with MRI's every 3 months. I was "stable" at every appointment and "looked good" so why would I question that….good is good so I kept on with life.
Fast forward to November 16, 2017 where my MRI came back positive for regrowth and not just a regrowth, a growth of a tumor bigger then the size it was almost 2 years ago. WHAT!?!?!? HOW in the world in 2 years was this tumor never noticeably growing on the MRI's? I was left with my undetailed biopsy from the day after surgery and felt it was a tumor that was removed and was gone and move along. Little did I know and NOW know from my own research that the type of tumor I have, a mixed gradeII Oligoastrocytoma WILL grow back. It is only a matter of time. So WOW here we are almost exactly 2 years later and I am faced with a regrowth of tumor that has not only grown but grown bigger then when I started. My only option because of the size and type of tumor was another surgery. I had my second surgery on Jan 23rd with Dr. Linda Liau at UCLA. The results came back and my tumor changed. It is now a Grade III Anaplastic Astrocytoma and required 6 weeks of photon radiation and 6.5 months of Temodar chemotherapy. This time everything will be different. I not only have a whole new view on life but on how to live life. It wasn’t until the tumor recurred, that I feel my “journey with brain cancer” really began. So here I am, ready to not just share my journey but to hopefully help prevent misdiagnosis' and be an example of what to do when diagnosed with a brain tumor, cancer or other diseases. You need to be your own advocate and learn there are other options and opinions out there and on top of traditional medicine SO many other things you can do holistically in conjunction! This is me, this is my story and I appreciate YOU for being part of it. XOXO