On 5 August 2013 I collapsed in our house. My wife thought I was having a stroke so I was rushed to the hospital and found that I had a massive anaplastic oligodendroglioma brain tumor. I was sent to the Holden Cancer Center at the University of Iowa Hospitals where I spent 13 days.
A biopsy was taken and an MRI was preformed from which they determined I was at Stage III.
Some might know that an anaplastic oligodenroglioma is a very rare form of cancer that has “early warning signs” (moodiness, wanting to sleep/nap all the time, disinterest, loss of appetite, etc.) all of which I was showing a year before I collapsed. We went to our family doctor, who, after my wife described the symptoms said, “What do I look like, a marriage counselor?” Needless to say, if he took a different approach, the detection of my tumor would have been at least a year earlier and would have been more treatable.
Fortunately, the U of IA cancer center had a renowned brain tumor specialist who knew what I was dealing with and he started me on a new drug called Temodar. This chemo drug did wonders for me. While nobody can determine if the “blob” that shows up on my MRIs is alive, I continue to be monitored (now once every 4 months) for any signs of growth.
My suggestion to anyone who reads this is simple: If you are exhibiting strange or changed symptoms, don’t listen to your doctor if he/she blows it off. Get another opinion – quickly! It may change your life.