The Race is on for the Cure
I am joining the fight against brain cancer by participating in Head for the Cure Phoenix on November 7th, 2020. Head for the Cure is dedicated to raising funds and awareness for brain cancer research.
In June of 2019 doctors discovered I had a brain tumor. The neurosurgeon suggested we take the "wait and see" approach and do a follow-up MRI in three months. So I did what anyone would do -- I named my brain tumor Howard and took him for a long walk up a big hill, Humphrey's Peak in Arizona, elevation 12,633 ft. There we witnessed the most beautiful sunrise I've every witnessed.
Over the course of the next 3 months I hired a personal trainer, changed my diet, took up daily meditation, and changed as much as I could about my life hoping Howard would leave on his own. I noticed I was feeling quite fatigued but brushed it off as the diet change or perhaps the busy life of a mom with special needs children, and I kept pushing forward.
I had a follow-up scan on September 18th and that evening headed for a hike up one of my favorite peaks to watch the sunset and burn off the anxiety from the unknown results of that scan. That hike did not go as planned and Howard decided to show his dark and ugly side. After experiencing a seizure and getting a dreaded mountain rescue, I ended up in surgery 2 days later. On September 20th we got the diagnosis: Glioblastoma Grade 4 (brain cancer). Prognosis: Terminal. Life Expectancy: About a year.
Every day is a day to celebrate though, right?
What are we celebrating today? Howard has left the building, I have survived a craniotomy, radiation, chemo, therapies, learned to walk and move my arm again, and as of June there was no evidence of regrowth of tumors. I have reached a year and I am fighting as hard as I can and will continue to do so.
Although Howard is gone my oncologist was quick to remind me that does not mean I'm cured -- Howard's remnants are left behind and unable to detect on scans, and I will not survive this. Meanwhile, I know that I have good days ahead of me, and the best way to spend those is to keep on living, laughing and loving!
This journey has taught me to love life, love others and myself, find gratitude every day, celebrate big things and little things, be kind to each other, and be the best human one can be.
Glioblastoma is a terrible disease to have and to treat. It is aggressive and brutal and leaves many of us with deficits even though the cancer appears to be gone. That Standard of Care has not changed much in over 30 years. We need further research in hopes of finding a cure
This is why I am participating in Head for the Cure!
Please consider joining our team, GLIOBLASTERS to run along side us virtually or in person and help us raise awareness and funds, or simply donate. No amount is too small. Thank you for your consideration!
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