"Below you will find a small part of my Mom's incredible journey with Glioblastoma, the same cancer that Brittany Maynard had. We did have to make some tough decisions, but we feel blessed, because Mom has done unbelievably well with the disease so far.
The attached picture was of an unforgettable moment for my Mom, myself, and our family. On May 2nd of this year, Mom had brain surgery to remove a large mass that was discovered in her brain. Shortly thereafter, her doctors informed us that she had something called Glioblastoma, which is a Grade IV brain tumor. It is widely regarded as the most deadly form of human cancer.
Her doctors informed us that the median survival time for Glioblastoma patients, who receive the standard of care treatment, including chemotherapy and brain radiation, is 12 – 14 months. They also informed us of the risks of brain damage associated with this type and dose of radiation.
Not that there is ever a good time to have this kind of diagnosis, but Mom’s came at a particularly bad time. Mom intended to see her youngest son (me) get married on August 16th of this year, and her first grandchild (from my older brother) born a week later. Many patients are bedridden mere months after their Glioblastoma diagnosis, and some do not live more than a couple of months.
I don’t know if it was crazy or just emotionally immature, or what really drove us, but we did not accept Mom’s prognosis. I spent hundreds of hours scouring the Internet reading studies, news articles, and patient accounts of this disease, searching for a glimmer of hope. I befriended patients and families whose stories I read on the Internet, and spent hours with them on the phone.
After much soul searching, and many events that I can only ascribe to divine intervention, Mom finally decided to attempt a very specific set of alternative cancer therapies. Thanks to God, Mom’s treatment choice, and some incredible people, Mom is still with us. She is doing very well.
My Mom has the same cancer that Brittany Maynard had. I am glad that Mom chose (and continues to choose) to fight, and to live every minute of life that she has left. However, I don’t believe she will be leaving us any time soon. As of writing this, we still have no clear evidence that Mom’s cancer has returned. This is a picture of my Mom and I during our dance at my wedding reception. In May, we didn’t even know if Mom would last until August. Not only is she still here, she danced more than I did at the wedding. It was an incredible day, and this picture captures it perfectly.
In light of my Mom's and Brittany Maynard's stories, I cannot emphasize the following message strongly enough: Human beings are people, not statistics. Every disease, every patient, and every case is different. As long as you are still breathing there is still hope. My family and I know this to be true."
'Your Stories' are curated by Colin Balfe and TheBlaze Best Moments.
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