13 years strong!

Hello, my name is Jeff and I’m a 13 year survivor of an Anaplastic Astroytoma III. I’m hoping my story is gives some hope for others as I know what grim information is out there on the subject at hand. Google is not your friend.

At 29 years old I was diagnosed after having a small seizure. I was completely coherent except I could not stop the shaking of my arms. I had no previous headaches or neurological indicators. A MRI at my local hospital confirmed the tumor and the journey began.

My local specialist said he could not help me, which was a blessing in disguise, because I was referred to UCLA. All I can say is God put the right doctors in my life and prayer works! Aug. 23rd 2007 I had surgery to remove the tumor. Everything went well except for waking up with a huge headache and being paralyzed on my left side. I was told it would be a possibility, but luckily it was temporary and I was back to normal in about 6 months after physical therapy. During that time I received radiation for 6 weeks and was put on Temodar. I did extremely well on Temodar and continued taking it for 1 year and an additional year after that voluntarily (2 years total).

I continued with check ups MRI’s every 2 months and they slowly moved them out as time passed. I am now at an annual check up. I’ll admit every check up is scary and stressful, but so far I have been blessed. My life really hasn’t slowed down much except for my law enforcement career came to halt due to a couple seizure’s and seizure meds. Which led to being to high of a risk for the department to put me back in a patrol car. I have a loving a supportive wife that has stuck by my side the whole time and we adopted two children through foster care (what a blessing!). The doctors believe the chemo may have caused some infertility issues, but not sure. So that is basically my life after diagnosis. Only thing I’m left with is no hair, a big battle scar, and life long seizure meds… better than the alternative!

My main point is keep the faith, keep fighting, keep praying and be grateful for everyday you are given. God bless whoever is reading this and I pray it gives some hope!

Also, UCLA is AWESOME! I can’t thank them enough.

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