Beatrice (Bea) Zavala
Looking back, we wished we would have recognized the symptoms sooner. She started dropping things out of her left hand. She had headaches… but she thought it was nothing an aspirin couldn’t fix. She always thought she just slept on her pillow in the wrong position. She started tripping when walking but she just thought she was just getting clumsy. She never wanted anyone to worry about her. Then during the Christmas holidays of 2011, my cousin, who is a paramedic, recognized the droop in the left side of her face. He thought she may have suffered a stroke and ordered her to the ER. After an MRI and a biopsy - we finally received the news the first week of January 2012. My mother, Bea, was officially diagnosed with Stage IV Glioblastoma. An inoperable brain tumor. Talk about scary stuff! My mom did great the first year. No one wants to go through conventional chemotherapy and radiation but my mom was a trooper and just rolled with it. Treatment paid off – her tumor had shrunk considerably and had stabilized. She finished her radiation treatments and even went off chemo for several months which gave us so much hope that she might beat this cancer. However, her MRI’s soon revealed new tiny tumors – disease progression. We were lucky she qualified for a clinical trial. My mom continued to fight this aggressive cancer, and initially continued to do well but the constant treatment side effects took their toll. We could tell as she lost her ability to use her left arm… then lost her ability to walk… then her memory…. then her words… we knew it was time. My mom passed way in the early morning of June 29, 2015 at the age of 68. We miss her every day. We miss her laugh. We miss her sense of humor. We miss everything about her. We don’t miss this ugly, horrible disease. Please contribute to this cause that doesn’t get enough of the public’s attention! Brain cancer needs a cure too!!