Two days before I was supposed to leave Thailand and head back to the U.S., my post-college graduation travel high came to a cold stop when I woke up on a boat covered in blood and dirt with a swollen tongue. I asked my friend what happened and she looked at me like I was crazy. She took me out to the stern of the boat, sat me down and in what seemed like feature film slow-mo said, "Kelsey, you had a seizure." As she described what had happened back at the boat dock, I had no recollection whatsoever. A week later, doctors back in New Jersey would tell me I had suffered a full tonic-clonic seizure. Needless to say, eating pad thai would never be the same.
The dizzying days that followed led me to an MRI, which revealed a brain tumor the size of a grapefruit that was pregnant with triplets (and I had always wondered why my head was so big!) Within hours, I was at an emergency appointment with a neurosurgeon.