A couple of weeks ago I was sick with the flu, I should have gotten the vaccine, but in the past I’ve gotten the vaccine and actually ended up getting the flu anyway. I made an Executive Decision and decided not to have the vaccine this year…wrong decision. Next year I will get the vaccine…next year I’ll be one of the first people to get it. This flu took me down to the mat. First, Rachel got it-this is almost always the case; Rachel goes to High School and is a sponge for maladies, and then the worst part about this for the rest of the family is that she’s a donor-the gifter if you will, of maladies. A week later Rachel was much better…a week later Rachel’s illness had become mine; mine lasted for a month. What was first a flu-became a sinus infection. In the middle of that, Jon also was gifted the malady; he said he hadn’t remembered being that sick since Jr. High School. It was bad, and ironically it was Rachel’s Winter Recess. Jon had taken nine days off…not exactly the vacation we had imagined. At my peak of fluness, a friend of mine called and asked if I would talk to a friend of hers-she told me that her friend’s husband had recently been diagnosed with a glioblastoma. The relativity of life! Here I thought I was feeling horrible. This is a very difficult type of tumor to treat. I wasn’t sure what I would be able to say or do for my friend’s friend, I felt like crap, but I was sure she felt worse, and if it would make her feel better just being able to talk to someone who knew what it felt like to be a person, or to be with a person that had a brain tumor, of course I would listen and try and help. We talked. I don’t know if anything I said was useful. I was frustrated that I wasn’t able to do more. I was also frustrated because during these sick few weeks I had lost valuable Brain Matters time. Time I could/should be using to be able to set up my walk, and to meet with people I had been wanting to meet with…this conversation was just another indication of how much more needed to be done with regard to brain tumor awareness. No tumor patient is exactly like another one…but I lived close enough to this friend of friend’s neighborhood that I knew the neighborhood well enough, and all I could do was pay a visit. Why isn’t there more in the neighborhood?
Then two weeks after that conversation I met with the Director of the Brain Tumor Foundation and I learned something very interesting…the Foundation is making a tremendous push for early detection. I think this is a fantastic idea!
The earlier you find out if you have a tumor, the better the chances for curing that tumor. The smaller a brain tumor is, the easier it is to operate on, with all likelihood the less impactful it will become on very important nerves, the brain itself, etc. Overall, it will just be easier to treat. Without a doubt the people I’ve spoken to through this blog, or because of what I’m about to do, or have been through in my past were surprised to find out that they had a tumor…myself included. You usually don’t know you have a brain tumor until something major happens. One day you might have a seizure, or you don’t remember something very basic like your own name, or you start to hear ringing or buzzing in your ears, or you start seeing double. If you were to have an MRI as a part of regular check-up, the way we do mammograms, this would save lives. I know it would. Twenty years ago, when I was originally diagnosed, the ability, ease and technology to have these tests on a frequent basis did not exist, that is not the case today.
This is a step.
This is action.
To learn more go to www.braintumorfoundation.org