How a young woman who lived her dream life lost her high-flying job of 100,000 a year AND her long-term boyfriend after being diagnosed with shock at age 26
- Linda Lee had it all: a high-flying career, a long-term partner, and a six-figure salary
- But her world was shattered by a brain cancer shock diagnosis at the age of 26
- The impact of her tumor left the Sydney businesswoman amnesia
- The treatment was successful, but she lost everything and can no longer return to work
- Mrs. Lee has revealed how a self-help guru got her through her darkest days
A high-flying businesswoman has revealed how a brain cancer shock diagnosis caused her to lose her six-figure salary, long-term partner, and future career.
At the age of 26, Linda Lee excelled in every aspect of life, earning $ 100,000 a year from her financial services job while planning to move to London with her three-year-old boyfriend.
But her world collapsed when doctors discovered a tumor the size of a golf ball in her brain.
The treatment proved successful, but damage caused by the tumor caused the Sydney saleswoman acute amnesia, preventing her from working.
Now 33, Ms. Lee told Daily Mail Australia how advice from a self-help guru has gotten her through her darkest days – and how volunteering with refugees has given her new purpose in life.
At the age of 26, businesswoman Linda Lee (pictured) had it all: a high-flying career, a long-term partner, and a six-figure salary
Ms. Lee’s world collapsed when doctors discovered a golf ball-sized tumor in the prefontal cortex of her brain
Prior to her diagnosis in the winter of 2015, Ms. Lee began to suffer from amnesia that made her unable to remember instructions for simple tasks and was confused about the conversations she’d had moments earlier.
She also experienced hallucinations that made her think she was talking to someone who wasn’t really there.
Mrs. Lee went to a family doctor, who referred her for scans and a biopsy that showed a germinoma was growing in her prefrontal cortex.
A germinoma is a rare cancer that develops in germ cells that have not left the brain when it forms in the womb.
“It was terrible,” said Ms. Lee of her diagnosis.
Doctors prescribed an 18-month course of chemotherapy and radiation, which eliminated all traces of cancer.
But the impact of the tumor changed Ms. Lee’s life forever.
The treatment proved successful, but damage caused by the tumor left Ms. Lee (photo after her biopsy) with acute amnesia, preventing her from working.
What is a Germinoma?
A germinoma is a rare cancer most often found in the brains of children between the ages of 10 and 19.
The cancer originates in germ cells, which are actually germ cells that do not leave the brain while the fetus is still in utero.
There are two main types – germinomas and non-germinomatous germ cell tumors – that respond differently to treatment.
The symptoms depend on where the tumor develops in the brain and its size.
Common telltale symptoms caused by brain swelling include fatigue, vomiting, headache, behavioral changes, and difficulty moving or seeing.
Source: Children’s Cancer Australia
The severe amnesia that doctors say will live for the rest of her life forced her to give up her career and leave her unable to keep another job.
“I went from earning $ 100,000 a year to getting fired from countless jobs in a row. It was really hard for me to accept that that part of my life is gone, ”Ms. Lee said.
When her partner found out she wouldn’t be able to move to the UK, he ended their relationship.
Ms. Lee said she was depressed and had thoughts of suicide after her condition forced her to go back to her parents’ home and push friends and loved ones away.
“Even now it’s hard for me to see my peers and see where they are,” she said.
“I’m thinking about where I could be if this hadn’t happened to me.”
Mrs. Lee said she was depressed and had suicidal thoughts after her condition forced her to go back to her parents’ home and push friends and loved ones away
She finally found peace after attending a seminar hosted by American life coach Tony Robbins, whose advice helped her “stop seeing herself as a victim.”
In late 2020, she started volunteering at Save the Children and Core Community Services, a support group that helps refugees find a job in Australia.
Despite being unpaid, Ms. Lee said the work has given her newfound satisfaction.
‘I love to be busy and it makes me feel worthy. It has given me purpose, ”she said.
Ms. Lee shared her story to encourage Australians to support Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea, a NSW Cancer Council fundraising event taking place on May 27.