My name is Sandy Lerman. I am married and have twin boys. I also have brain cancer. The tumor I have is a type of glioma which never goes into remission. It grows back and becomes more aggressive over time.
I was first diagnosed in 2003, when I was 28. I had a grand mal seizure in the middle of the night while feeding one of my 2 week old twin boys. I had surgery a month later. In 2011, I had a second surgery for a recurrence. After my surgery, I had 2 different chemotherapies. Nevertheless, in late 2015 I had another recurrence and my third surgery. This last surgery showed that my tumor progressed from a grade 2 Oligodendroglioma to a grade 3 Anaplastic Astrocytoma. I had radiation in 2016 together with chemotherapy. I continued to take chemotherapy for an additional 8 months after completing radiation.
Since then, I have been on a strict watch and wait protocol, with MRI scans and a visit to my Neuro-Oncologist every 8 weeks. I am also under the care of a neurologist to control my seizures. I have to take a lot of medication and am not able to drive. Not easy when you live in the suburbs of New Jersey!
My babies are now 15 years old and in 10th grade. I will be walking with them and my husband to bring awareness to brain cancer survivors like myself, and also in honor of people who have died because of it. This past year I lost my father to stomach cancer. I walk in honor of him as well. He was always by my side when I needed him throughout this journey. His unwavering support is a huge part of the reason I am still here. I promised him I would be strong and I KNOW he will be proud of me for doing this. Although it will be emotional, and hard for me to wake up early on a cold Sunday morning, I am determined. Please consider donating if you can.