This is our story from the eyes of my wife Theresa.
When I was diagnosed and treated with surgery for a stage 3 brain tumor in December 2011, my world shifted on its axis. My first brain surgery took from my innocence and belief in my health along with my left peripheral vision. I faced the idea of my mortality for the the first time ever at age 30. I had to learn to visually scan every moment of the day to avoid running into walls, furniture, and people. When they found another tumor in November 2015, I was in disbelief as I thought it was gone for good. This surgery was performed while I was awake which was awful and nightmare-causing. The tumor turned out to be a grade 4 Glioblastoma (GBM). This surgery was far more traumatic physically when I woke up partially paralyzed. My left leg couldn’t bear weight, my left arm didn’t respond to commands, and the left side of my face drooped. I learned to walk with a cane with the help of Barrow’s Acute Inpatient therapists. My first two months home from the hospital were exceedingly challenging for my husband, Greg, and I as we adjusted to a life where I couldn’t take care of myself anymore.
The day after I returned to work on February 2016, I had a routine MRI which showed a tumor that had to be operated on that weekend due to the size and location. I was warned this surgery might make the paralysis worse. Greg and I made one of the hardest decisions of our lives and told my surgeon to be aggressive even if it meant permanent paralysis.
I woke up blessed with the ability to still walk with a cane.
We don’t know what the future holds for us, but we know I still have a long road to recovery.
I’ve just returned to work again and the normalcy has helped me feel more centered in my life.
Brain Cancer has taken so much from us, I had to learn a lot of information about causes and impacts of many kinds of cancer, that helped too (some cancers are explained in some unexpected ways, like here https://mesotheliomaexplained.com/mesothelioma/), but it has given me a persecutive on life especially that everyday is precious and to always tell those you love how much they mean to you.
I’m currently undergoing two treatments of chemo in the belief that this time the cancer stays gone.
The Beer Research Institute proudly supports The Beer for Brains Foundation and GBM Agile to help find a cure for brain cancer.