A caregiver's journey through the brain tumor battle

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September 28, 2017 - Milwaukee, Wisconsin

My husband was diagnosed with a diffuse astrocytoma in May 2017 and our lives changed. I wrote the following on a particularly difficult day of dealing with his treatment and symptoms, and it summarizes what we've gone through - the downs but also the ups of dealing with brain cancer. Cancer is a weird phantom smell, out of the blue. Cancer is an unexpected seizure and fall down the steps. Cancer is 3 months of not knowing what caused the seizure and fall. Cancer is 3 months of worry, fear, stress. Cancer is 2 brain biopsies. Cancer is finally diagnosed after 2nd biopsy. Cancer is fear and anger. Cancer is more seizures. Cancer is hospital stays, MRI’s CAT scans and EEG’s. Cancer is medicine, medicine and more medicine. Cancer is co-pays and deductibles. Cancer is a scary reaction to the medicine, on the weekend of course, a frantic call to the on-call doctor, and a change in medicine. Cancer is chemo and radiation -no surgery, will not do any good for this kind of tumor. Cancer is hair falling out - though not much to fall out in the first place, still hard to see. Cancer is cancelled vacations. Cancer is lots of tears. Cancer is short-term memory loss, forgetfulness. Cancer is anger at little things, and big things. Cancer is sadness. Cancer is a change in family dynamics, hopefully temporary. Cancer is a loss of normalcy and loss of control. Cancer is appreciation for the little things. Cancer is thankfulness for today. Cancer is not worrying about what could happen 3 months from today. Cancer is unbelievable love and kindness from family and friends. Cancer is understanding bosses and coworkers. Cancer is unbelievable kindness from nurses and doctors who literally are saving your life. Cancer is a joke from someone you don’t know who is in the waiting room also waiting to go in for radiation. Cancer is hugs and kisses from your son who in his 7 year old mind, knows you needed those hugs and kisses more than ever. Cancer is God’s hand always, always holding yours. Cancer is just a bump in the road. Cancer is gratefulness for another day. Cancer is no match to your strength, persistence, desire to live and fight to move forward.