Wednesday, November 28, 2018

There is bad news ...

"There is bad news, Prakash!" That is how my NeuroOncologist started the conversation with me and my wife today afternoon. 

He continued on with "The something unusual from the MRI on October 3, 2018, has been confirmed as a tumor recurrence with a noticeable 2.5 cm growth in the MRI on November 20, 2018". The tumor has come back in the same location - the left parietal lobe - in which I had my second craniotomy on July 19th, 2018.

This came as a shock to both of us. Since the medical team had not called me immediately after the MRI, I had assumed that all is well and I have nothing to worry about. Turns out it was that way because last week was a holiday week. 😅

The fact that I am not experiencing any physiological symptoms to indicate the presence of a tumor is another factor that was making me confident and complacent about my health. 😔

As this recurrence indicates that whatever we are doing is not working, the doctor made me stop the daily 80mg Temodar treatment I was on immediately. We discussed a few options for further treatments and ended the meeting on the note that we will meet again in three weeks to decide on the future course of action. 

It will take some time to digest all this and come to terms with it. Here are some of my initial thoughts:
  • The most important thing right now is to fight like hell against the forces of darkness - fear, hopelessness, despair,... And reinforce the positive spirit and strength of mind.
  • Now is the time for second opinions. 
  • To review what we have done to identify what has worked and double down on it. 
  • And to identify what hasn't worked and drop it.
  • To explore for solutions outside the normal scope of our search.
Hoping to continue on this journey with a smile on the face and strength and determination in our hearts and minds.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Counting my blessings on the second anniversary of my GBM diagnosis

Two years ago today, on Monday, November 14, 2016, early morning, I was taken to the emergency room after complaining about nausea and tiredness for a couple of days. Very early in the day, the doctors figured out it was a brain tumor, and I was scheduled for a brain surgery later in the day. Most of the tumor was resected that afternoon, and I was subsequently diagnosed as having Glioblastoma Multiforme - the most aggressive of brain cancers there is. 

That was the start of my journey with brain cancer. There are many things I am thankful for on this journey.  

In spite of going through two brain surgeries and being on treatment throughout over the last two years, thankfully, I have not experienced any significant deficits - either physical or mental. That has allowed me to go about life as usual despite the circumstances. In fact, I even got back to running marathons and completed 3 marathons in 2018. 💪

Living with terminal cancer has taught me to appreciate all the good - and not so good - things in life. I can categorically state that I am enjoying and appreciating my life much more now than before I was diagnosed. 😇

5-year-ago-me or 10-year-ago-me would have been very surprised and shocked to know that I have it in me to look at the threat of death in the face and not flinch but go on to dance with it 

The most important benefit I have got so far on this journey - a very recent development - is the opening up of the spiritual aspect of life while I was digging into figuring out what I should be doing to prevent recurrence. I am still at the very beginning of my spiritual journey and very excited to see where it will take me! 🙏🙏

The story so far

It has been a month since I decided to start a blog to journal my journey with Glioblastoma Multiforme after bei...