Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The reality of our fight against brain cancer...

This was a message to the brain cancer community who shares common experiences. Many of us can sympathize with each other because at some point we all may have lost a loved one or may be struggling in the constant battle against brain cancer. We know that it may be difficult for others to truly understand how brain cancer is unique within our community since it effects not only someone’s physiological status.. but also degradation of their psychological and social well being. I remember that before knowing anything about cancer I would hear coverage of stories on the news and I would feel sympathetic for that family but never would truly empathize with their disposition until my wife was diagnosed with GBM IV 4 months after we were married at 7 ½ months pregnant. All of us may or may be experiencing or have experienced this in some fashion or form… But imagine what its like to plan out a future with your spouse and have your world turned upside down after your married.. sacrificing your career and home to live in hospital 24/7 for months and months.. to know that your daughter will never know her mother and build that bond.. to know what its like to hold your wife down with one hand while she is having a grand mal seizure while feeding your famished screaming infant daughter after ongoing and prolonged sleep deprivation and break in tears feeling helpless.. to see your wife break out in tears because she is coming to realization that she will never know her daughter.. to hear doctors inform your loved one that there is nothing they can do and your wife tell you that don’t worry, my husband will make me better and acknowledging that there is nothing left to do but watch her die.. to slowly watch your wife lose her memory and not know who you are or who her daughter is.. to invest several hours a day slowly orally feeding with each meal.. to watch them go into a catatonic state and wonder if she can hear you.. to witness them go through dual forms of depression (postpartum & bleak prognosis) at the same time and refuse to eat and go to treatments.. to have to physically carry them everywhere and provide custodial care.. to fight insurance, hospitals, doctors, nurses, disability, etc.. to get treatment or mistakes made that caused her to suffer.. to sit in a dark room and watch them every minute for days and months on end. To wonder and feel guilt that if you did something different she would have survived longer. To be informed by the nurses that she will pass any minute and slowly watch her take her last breaths and her pulse stops…. These are just some of my personal experiences and not the stories I hear everyday from the brain cancer families within the community. If you transform this anguish and pain to sheer devotion, it becomes a driving centrifugal force that will make the lives better for those who are affected. We are a rare breed in the cancer community but one that will always know that our strength will help us endure. No matter all the hardships I would do it over and over again to be by your side.

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