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Keeping the Faith




Patricia thought her approaching 40th birthday was going to be traumatic, but the poor balance, headaches and numbness in the arms suggested a more serious problem. she was diagnosed with a malignant pineal gland tumor in the brain which was causing obstruction of her ventricles in the brain. Through a course of surgery with resection of the tumor and placement of ventricular peritoneal shunt and focused radiation, she went into remission. Again with her approaching 50th birthday, the birthday turned out not to be the most daunting problem. Her tumor recurred with not only recurrence inside her ventricles of the brain but had also spread thru out her spinal cord strangulating the nerves in the lower spinal cord resulting in weakness and numbness of the legs along with recurrence of her headaches, loss of weight and general debility. she underwent an arduous course of irradiation to her brain and entire spinal column along with oral chemotherapy. she again went into remission with some residual weakness and numbness. so although our family can hardly wait to see what she has planned for her 60th in another 6 years, she is fortunate to be with us all. so when I run on sunday and think of my wife’s brother, Eric Woll who died at age 64 from his glioblastoma in November 2011 and of their mother, Elizabeth Woll who died at age 67 from her glioblastoma in October 1984, I will keep the memory of their courage in facing their own mortality along with my sister’s courage facing the trials and tribulations which are common to so many cancer patients. My sore knees or aching muscles will pale in comparison.