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Published on April 18, 2016 in Share Your Story

My name is Juan Reyes and today at 7:10 AM I saw my mother take her last breath. Many stories usually don’t begin with the ending, but mine does cause much effort must be taken to bring awareness to fight brain cancer.

October 2015 my mother suddenly collapsed and my family thought she was suffering a stroke. My mom was in the hospital when the Neurologist informed my family what we thought to be a stroke was actually a seizure caused by a brain tumor. My mother was diagnosed with a grade III anaplastic astrocytoma.

Surgery was a option but the high probability of her losing vital senses and mobility was too risky. The doctors gave my mom a year max to live. I work in healthcare doing analytics and understood the prognosis is not good. My mom was told she would be on steroids and anti seizure meds the duration of her life. The difficulty of battling brain cancer is the medication because decadron after long use destroys the immune system, though it helped with allowing my mom to communicate. My mother developed many infections but none worse than C Diff.

There was no way to manipulate the medication in order to battle the infections long enough before losing her ability to see, speak, and hear.

She fought bravely for six months till succumbing to pneumonia sepsis. This beautiful woman who devoted herself to her family is a true warrior. My family would like to extend our deepest thanks Dignity Health Mercy San Juan in Sacramento, CA. The level of care they provided cannot be repaid. We must invest to the fight and work towards stories of full recovery. I know your in heaven mom Selene and I love you so much.

Opinions expressed within this story belong solely to the author and do not reflect the views or opinions of the National Brain Tumor Society.

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