I was diagnosed with not just one, but two brain tumors in my left and right frontal lobe November 2008. Shorrtly after I had my first craniotomy at Johns Hopkins on December 3rd to remove tumor cells from the right sided lesion. Fortunately, I did not have to go through chemotherapy or radiation. A biopsy of the cells revealed that the type of tumor I have is called an Astrocytoma grade II (hence the name of the team). I began to Google everything about this time of tumor and read as much as I could about treatments. The good thing was that mine was caught early and it is still a grade II.
The doctors decided to monitor the right sided lesion for the time being since they felt it was stable and the chances of the two being the same thing were very small. Also, we were doing everything we could to prolong radiation due to the side effects.
Every 3-4 months I would go to Hopkins for MRI scans and a follow up with my neurologist and sometimes my neurosurgeon. I'm very greatful to live so close to such a renowned facility that specilizes in brain tumors! I owe a great deal to them as well as my family for their support!
Two years ago I began to have frequent small scale seizures and an MRI scan showed that the tumor was once again growing. I had my second craniotomy on Febuary 6, 2012 also at Hopkins to remove more tumor cells. My surgeon was worried that the cells may have changed and that my tumor was now a grade III and a low-grade glioma. For several days we waited and it felt like an eternity and finally the biopsy report came back with good news, the cells had not changed; still a grade II!
For almost two years I was virtually symptom free and on a steady dose of seizure medicines which were working very well. Then on Christmas Eve, 2013 I had the very frightening experience of suffering a grand-mal seizure. In my head I knew that it could not be a good sign of things to come since I had not experience a seizure like this before. I was taken to the ER and had a CT scan done. Of course, since they had no other scans to compare it to, I was released that night and told to follow up with my neurologist at Hopkins.
On February 20th, 2014 I went back to Hopkins and had another MRI done.Unfortunately the tumor has shown some growth and the lesion on the right side has also grown. We discussed chemo and radioation therapies and the pros and cons of each. Since radiation therapy can only be performed once, my neurologist thinks it will be best to start with this first. I will be meeting with a radiation oncologist in the coming months in addition to having a follow up MRI in June. It seems that I have a long road ahead of me and I will keep fighting.
Thank you to everyone who keeps supporting me in this fundraiser and those who come out every year to D.C. to the 5K. I could not keep going with out the support of family and friends. I hope this year is very successful!!
Thank you again,