Nearly six years ago, my wife drove me to the emergency room where eventually I was diagnosed with a glioblastoma tumor. This was the culmination of 10 months of ignoring a series of subtle symptoms that nearly cost my life. It began innocently enough with objects or floaters in my right eye. Then periods of drowsy in the afternoons that culminated with two minor car accidents. A few months later, I began to have trouble reading and understanding certain words or letters. Finally, when I started experiencing strong headaches, which I never had in the past, I got the hint.
After my initial surgery, I had six weeks of full time radiation. I followed that by entering a clinical trial which gave me the standard chemotherapy usually given to all brain cancer patients, except my dose was 65% stronger than normal. As expected, the poison took quite a bite out of my daily routine, seriously compromising the quality of my life. After 6 months, the tumor reappeared and while my family and I were certainly depressed, it enabled me to start another clinical trial featuring a new drug called Avastin. Working differently than standard chemotherapy, this treatment targets a marker in your system telling it there’s an out-of-control area of cells requesting oxygen and nutriments. Once identified, it suffocates the renegade cells and in the process, destroys the tumor. After my second treatment, my tumor was wiped out clean!
Over 5 years later, I’m still here to share my story. I’ve lost the peripheral vision in my right eye so I can no longer drive a car safely and my reading is still slower than normal. Other than that, I’m doing fine. I still take Avastin every couple of weeks, but I have none of the standard effects that people associate with cancer and chemotherapy. I am writing this letter to inform people that while brain cancer still cannot be cured, it certainly can be stopped in its tracks for long periods of time. I am living proof of that. Pay attention to unusual symptoms in your body. See a doctor quickly. Do not wait to the last minute as I did. Don’t let this disease off the hook without a major fight, and never underestimate the power of positive thinking. It can have a noticeable effort on the way you deal and feel! If it worked for me, it certainly can work for you.