3/28/17 my life changed forever. My little sister's, her fiancé’s, our whole family's lives changed forever. My sister, Katie, had a seizure and we went to the ER for routine testing. I thought they would say you are dehydrated or pregnant! We received a CT scan that showed a tumor on the right side of her brain. Two days later she had a gross total resection craniotomy and sauntered out of Northwestern-Chicago three days post-op. We had a week and a half at home and then 4/11/17 changed our lives again even further. The diagnosis we thought we were awaiting – grade 2 or 3 – was actually grade IV glioblastoma. The worst news we could ever imagine receiving. We were stunned. We have since found that she is: IDH mutated MGMT methylated glioblastoma. Those fancy scary words tell us that she might have a better performance under radiation and chemotherapy. But it’s still the scariest news.
Katie is 37, gorgeous, smart as a whip, wickedly funny, engaged to a great guy Brogan [getting married this summer], successful and in amazing physical shape. Right now, post-craniotomy, you would have NO idea anything has happened. She looks amazing and is acting just as she did prior to 3/28. She has spent the last three weeks stoic, brave, gracious, thankful for her amazing friends and family and scared. We will fight like the scrappiest of all scrappers. We will boost her up and make sure she knows we love her more than the moon and the stars.
I don’t know much about brain cancer in general but given what I have learned in the past three weeks, I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. My sister has so much more to live for and such an amazing fiancé to start this next chapter of her life with. And their plan was to have a baby as quickly as they could so I’ll try to carry out that wish and be their surrogate. Then she can have number two when she finishes her year of chemo after initial radiation/chemo! See why you don’t wish this on anyone?! Hug your loved ones and tell them as much as you can that you love them. Life is short, precious, fragile, fleeting, curve ball-throwing, amazingness and struggles. Enjoy the ride no matter what. We have been enjoying this ride together for 37 years…despite fighting like cats and dogs when younger, we joke that we are twins separated by 2.75 years. We finish each other sentences, show up in the same damn outfit, and I can’t get enough of her. I’M NOT DONE HERE. SHE’S NOT DONE HERE.
And with that we start the FIGHT portion. Let’s stomp this into the ground. Walk with us on Sunday 4/23/17 as a start in this journey to help fight brain cancer…all cancer but now we focus on brain cancer.
Each day, 500 people will be diagnosed with a brain tumor. To show my support, I will be participating in the American Brain Tumor Association’s BT5K Breakthrough for Brain Tumors Run & Walk. Money raised by the BT5K will provide critical funding for brain tumor research and for supportive patient care.
You can support me in my efforts by making a donation to the American Brain Tumor Association.
Click on “Donate Now” to donate safely and securely.
Your donation not only supports brain tumor patients and their families but it also supports the breakthrough research to improve, extend and ultimately save lives. And remember, your donation is tax-deductible! You can learn more about the American Brain Tumor Association at www.abta.org. Thank you in advance for your support of my efforts on behalf of brain tumor patients, their families, and the researchers pursuing the breakthroughs.
xoxoxoxxoxoxoxox, JENNIE, SISTER KATIE AND FIANCE BROGAN
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