This year more than ever, it is vital for our Gina's Journeyfamily to gather on April 22nd. Because I have had a reoccurrence, it is more important now than ever to raise funds to find new ways to fight this cancer. The fact that I was able to live with clean scans for so long past the initial diagnosis is a true testament to research. Now that I find myself needing to try various drugs to see what is a best fit for the new mutations is key to raise funds for continued research. Please put your running shoes on, grab a friend or two and help save lives.
Much love and gratitude,
To read last's year note, continue below:
SHE WAS NOT POWERFUL BECAUSE SHE WAS UNAFRAID. SHE WAS POWERFUL BECAUSE SHE MOVED TOWARDS AND CONQUERED DESPITE THE FEAR.
148 weeks and 4 days
That is the number of seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks we have lived with Glioblastoma Multiforme IV, inoperable brain cancer.
Before this diagnosis, I had hardly been sick in my 44 year old life. I had never really even had any injuries. I thought I did a pretty good job of maintaining good health. I had never really been a drinker, and never smoked a day in my life. I did not take unecessary risks in life. Not really an adrenaline junkie or felt the need to experience life outside of the box. I decided in 2013 to take better control of my future - so I thought. I had watched my mother have some health issues and wondered if I would have them. I started a workout regimen of circuit training and surprisingly had some really great results pretty early on. Towards the end of 2013 I started experiencing some pressure under my eyes. Because my mom had suffered from sinus issues, I chalked it off as her passing that along to me. I went to a physician who suggested it was not in fact a sinus issue, but instead allergies. I started to take some over the counter meds and that seemed to help.
Fast forward to April 22, 2014. I cannot for the life of me remember why I was in the location I was at, but I rear-ended an F250 with a hitch in a parking lot. It was enough force to turn my Saab into an accordion, however not enough to cause the airbags to deploy. I remember bits and pieces of that day but not all. The next day, April 23, 2014 between 3 and 4 p.m., I was brought to the hospital by Eric to be checked out. Ironically it was the hospital's wellness parking lot where I had been in the collision the previous day. I was examined with a CAT scan followed by an emergency MRI. That is when they discovered that this virtually healthy 44 year old woman had the most aggressive brain tumor possible.
What my family was told was very grim. INOPERABLE, STAGE IV, THE MOST AGGRESSIVE OF ALL BRAIN TUMORS, in addition, a severe case of Hydrocephalus. From what I am told, they suggested I would have had a massive heart attack if not for having been brought in that day. I remember all the people in and out of the room. Friends and family. Some which I had not seen or spoken to for some time. I had no idea at the time I was expected to be dead, yes DEAD in a few short weeks. I of course had no knowledge of that. Truth be told, I probably would have laughed it off. Oh wait, I did. Anyone who knows me well knows I would not haven taken kindly to some unknown object controlling me. I live by the theory "I have cancer, it doesn't have me".
Long story short, lots of prayer and many blessings have gotten me to where I am today. I have been off chemo since May 1st, 2015. Yes, the one who was supposed to roll over and let this beast control her. The tumor has shrunk, and I'm starting to feel stronger more and more everyday. I know that I give thanks to God everyday for the favor he has shown me. But I have also met others who were for some reason or another not as fortunate. Survivors guilt doesn't feel all that good. Imagine when you have survived and have a family asking with such desperation: "Why?" "What?" "How?" can this be survived? And then you hear that their loved ones have passed. There are way too many cases being diagnosed every single day.
I implore you to GIVE to find a cure for Brain Cancer. I would NEVER wish this on anyone. Please dig deep within your means to help fight this horrible disease. DO NOT FOR ONE MINUTE think you are not a candidate for any type of cancer. I never in a million years would have guessed that I would have been. Maybe skip that Starbucks, or fast food splurge for a week and give to ABTA.org. After all, isn't your life worth finding a cure for?
JOIN THE TEAM!
The more the merrier! I’m inviting all my friends to join my team in support of the nearly 700,000 people currently living with a brain tumor. You can join my team by clicking the join button on the right.
If you can’t make it to the BT5K Chicago on April 24, 2016, please consider making a donation to the American Brain Tumor Association in support of the team’s efforts. Click the donate button on the right.
Thank you in advance for your support of our efforts on behalf of brain tumor patients, their families, and the researchers pursuing the breakthroughs.