Sandra Su

Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting. Many of you already know how we got to this point, but I'll share a little background for those who don't.  Sandra has been eagerly awaiting retirement from the Navy.  Her 20 year point occurs at the end of June this year, just 3 short months from now.  On Wednesday, March 9th, she wasn't feeling very good and felt like her muscles were sore, like she had worked out a lot.  She was also getting some muscle spasms and feeling some anxiety because of it.  This continued on Thursday, March 10th, which was the day of her Veterans Affairs appointments for her retirement processing.  She went to her morning appointments, and had a few hours to wait before going to a later appointment for the VA.  During that period, she started to feel worse.  Her left arm and left leg started feeling weaker and she was very anxious.  We cancelled her later appointment and I drove her to the ER at Ft. Belvoir in Virginia.  There they did a CT scan and gave us the devastating diagnosis that she had a brain tumor.  They took her by ambulance to Walter Reed Medical Center where extensive testing was done.  On Monday, March 15th, she had surgery to get a biopsy of the tumor.  Initial analysis showed it looked like a primary CNS lymphoma.  Because Walter Reed is right across the street from NIH (National Institute of Health), which includes the National Cancer Institute, we were sent there to participate in a clinical trial which has shown very promising results in getting rid of brain lymphomas without surgery by just using new chemo meds orally and by using a small shunt placed in the skull.  We were at NIH for a few days when the official biopsy results came back.  Unfortunately, it was the worst case scenario.  Instead of a lymphoma, it was a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).  Out of all tumors to get, this is the worst.  We are told GBM is essential incurable, very aggressive, and keeps coming back despite aggressive treatment.  People that get it, without treatment, usually die within 1-2 months from time of diagnosis.  With treatment (surgery, chemo, and radiation), people live on average for 15 months.

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