Back in Action with Brain Cancer

Paul poses for a photo.

“I suddenly started struggling to say simple words and common phrases,” says Paul Salazar of St. Jacobs, who was at the office in 2015 when the trouble began. “The next thing I knew, I was being rolled down the hallway on a gurney because I had a seizure.”

Paul was taken to his local hospital for testing before being transferred to Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre for specialized care.

“That’s when they discovered my brain tumour,” he recalls. “It was so surreal receiving that news. I was speechless with disbelief.”

A year of treatment

After extensive testing, Paul underwent brain surgery at Hamilton General Hospital to remove the tumour. Then he returned to Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre for a six-week regimen of radiation therapy and a year-long chemotherapy program.

“I was always an active person who enjoyed playing and coaching sports,” explains Paul, “so I found it difficult feeling ill and exhausted all the time, unable to do the things I love to do. I felt powerless.”

Mindful of his cancer

Paul also had to deal with a number of mental and psychology challenges during his recovery, including issues with his memory and post-traumatic stress disorder.

“I received amazing care at Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre.”

“I had to accept the fact that the type of cancer I have is considered terminal, and the cancer is expected to return. But because they caught it at such an early stage and because I was in such good health, I can expect a good ten years of life before the cancer returns.”

After completing his chemotherapy, Paul’s strength slowly returned and he began to feel more like his old self.

Hitting back

Paul decided to give back to the health care professionals who helped him through such a difficult period in his life. In April 2019, he participated in Champions for Charity, a boxing event that raised funds for Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre Foundation and McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation.

“It felt fantastic to support such a great cause,” says Paul. “I received amazing care at Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre, and participating in this fundraising event was a way I could pay it forward and help other patients like me.”