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Keeping the Faith




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Fourteen years ago is when we got the devastating news that my husband of six months was diagnosed with Anaplastic Oligondendroglioma Stage 3. In reality no one truly knows the time they have here but, suddenly hearing 3 to 6 months was definitely not what anyone wants to hear. In searching for treatments we ended up meeting with Dr Mikkelsen here at H B C. He informed us of a Stage 1 clinical trial of a new drug called Temodar. He was given forms to take home and read if he was interested in participating in this study. He immediately asked for a pen to sign the paperwork before he left the office. Dr Asking if he was sure and his response went something like this, “It’s not like we have plan A, B or C to pick from. If I die you can use my brain for research to study in the hopes of someday finding a Cure.” and so his journey begins. His as a patient and mine as a caregiver. He will always say he has it easier being the patient & not the caregiver. We shall always disagree about this. In the 1st stage of the trial he was miserable. He was lucky to have the gene loss in which patients who have this for some reason respond to treatment though he was terribly sick leading to many trips to the ER. Learning about all the different types of anti nausea drugs. Tom was cancer free for just over five years when he had an MRI that gave him the call to setup 6 weeks of radiation whole on low dose Temodar the regular dose of chemo for total of 2 and half years. Partaking in Stage 3 clinical trial. Just over two weeks ago Dr Walbert gave us the news his latest MRI is clean. During this Tom has written a short story on his journey published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive: 101 Inspirational. Together we have learned the importance of joining a Cancer support group or just listening to the family you met in MRI 3 or waiting for radiation treatments and how heartbreaking it is to see someone called home. Thank you all for your dedication and never giving up.