Several years ago I was diagnosed with a glioma called an ependymoma. It was the size and shape of a chicken egg and attached to my brain stem.
During the nine hours of brain surgery it was successfully removed, but recovery was very difficult. I lost the ability to swallow, speak, and walk. It took months to recover which cost me my job. We had two kids in college.
During recovery, my loving wife was by my side, taking care of me. She fed me and managed my medications. She also had a full time job, was a full time mom, and now had to take over everything I used to do.
Several months into this, she started having some odd symptoms. She had difficulty controlling her left hand and walked with a limp. Her friends were concerned and convinced her to seeing a doctor. We were shocked when the doctor told us she had a glioblastoma.
As I began feeling better, she began to succumb to the glioblastoma. Rolls reversed and I became her caregiver. Just as I had, she lost her job due to the illness.
With two kids in college, life could not have been more challenging. After radiation, chemo and a clinical trial, the mother of my children did not survive. The tumor took her in less than a year.
I’m elated to see the national focus now being put on glioblastomas. The National Brain Tumor Society, and other such organizations should be applauded in their efforts to eradicate this terrible disease.