This is the central place to check for updates about my battle with brain cancer. At times I have also used it as a blog, sharing my thoughts and feelings as they come.
I really appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Feeling connected to you awesome people makes a huge difference. THANK YOU!!
Back story [updated 20140514]: In November, 2012 I was diagnosed with brain cancer. A large (fist-sized) tumor was completely removed from my right frontal lobe on November 29, 2012, but because it turned out to be a grade 4 GBMO, I am not "cured". Daily chemo (Temodar) with radiation (6 weeks / 30 sessions, Dec 2012 - Feb 2013), followed by chemo-only (5 days/month from March 2013 - Feb 2014) was the standard treatment. As of early spring 2014, it's worked perfectly. No sign of recurrence. I am still recovering from long-term side effects of radiation exposure and chemo (it may take a year post-treatment for me to get back to 100% -- or better!) but I'm now three months post-treatment and am doing fine. Unlike with some kinds of cancer, avoiding recurrence for N number of years doesn't mean it'll never come back. But if it does, they'll catch it quickly given my MRI scans every 10 weeks, and they're well-equipped to treat it if that happens. So, while no "cure" exists yet, because of my young age, strength, and otherwise good health, there is reason to hope the grim statistics associated with the initial diagnosis -- stats based on studies of people twice my age, many of whom forgo surgery or treatment altogether and whose life expectancy is way shorter than mine -- don't apply to me. My oncologists and I agree that I can and will survive and thrive while managing this disease and waiting for a permanent cure to emerge.
So, not an ideal prognosis, mostly just "unknown, with closely-managed risks", but there are plenty of mitigating factors, and ample room for all-important hope, which I've got in spades.
Please read my journal entries to get the whole background and ongoing story. This "background story" content fragment may fall out of date again, but I do plan to keep updating the main journal on a regular basis, especially if there is any news to share.
Thank you so much for your support and encouragement, they are truly sustaining. Positive messages go a long way, but please, no condolences or pity. Thank you! :)
Happy to report: impossible to distinguish today's MRI scans from the last round's. Dr Dietrich suggested we do one more in 6 months, before stretching the cadence to 9 months. So, I'll post again March 20, 2020. :)