Did you know for malignant brain tumor patients, the five-year relative survival rate following diagnosis is 36%? Laura Towne has beaten those odds and is celebrating her five-year survivorship! Each year, her team #kickingcanceroutoftowne participates in the Head for the Cure 5K – Central Texas to celebrate Laura Towne and her courageous battle with brain cancer. By participating in this event, you are not only helping fund research and programs but also supporting survivors like Laura! Learn more about her incredible 5-year survivorship below!
“FIVE (+) YEARS! Wow! That’s how long I’ve been fighting as someone diagnosed with a Glioblastoma (GBM)! That’s how long it has been since my world was rocked! That’s how long I have been a CANCER SURVIVOR!
I was a 31-year-old Travel Nurse on assignment in sunny San Diego! What started as a beautiful day on the beach turned into craziness. I started having seizures on the beach and don’t remember much from there for the next several days. Throughout my 10 days at the hospital, I had multiple CT scans, MRI’s, new medications started, and finally a craniotomy to remove the almond size tumor they found on the left temporal lobe of my brain. The surgery went well, but they quickly knew it was cancer. As I said, I don’t remember much of the time I was told I had cancer, but family and friends do. How heartbreaking for them to have to hear that! My life instantly changed.
Quickly I had to decide where I would live, where and what kind of treatment I was going to need, how would I afford this after not being able to work. With treatment would come an attack of my ovaries so I had to decide about an egg retrieval to save by somewhat healthy 31-year-old eggs. Well, I did all of the things. Moved to Texas, started fertility meds and on 11/11/2015 I had a egg retrieval (13 good ones)in the morning, started radiation in the afternoon, and started Chemo that night! I also had so much financial support from my friends and family, that some of that burden was relieved. What a whirlwind, but I made it through!
I eventually settled in Austin, continued chemo for a year, and started back working as a Labor & Delivery nurse 6 months after my diagnosis. It was hard but so worth it to be taking care of others again. I dated, worked out, made amazing new friends, and was living a (new) normal life. Then BOOM, in March 2018 I started having seizures again. After a month of seizures despite increasing my medications, another GBM tumor was growing. I had to make more decisions on what to do. I originally wanted to be a part of a research study that seemed promising but I ultimately decided just to get my tumor out and do what worked before for 2+ years. I did chemo and a different form of radiation. I stayed on chemo for about 7 months until we thought there might be new tumor growth. Thankfully we were wrong and life has been moving forward.
There have definitely been scares since my second diagnosis, but overall my MRI’s continue to be “stable”. I continue to live with anxiety, but with so much support, medications, and talking things out, I feel like that is the least of my worries these days. I am beyond thankful to have survived over 5 years and will continue to keep fighting and winning the battle against this aggressive, life-altering brain cancer! I am thankful to have been a part of Head for the Cure for the past 5 years and being able to help raise money and awareness to help research for GBM’s and other brain cancer/tumors! There is not a cure for this horrible cancer, and I just happen to be one of the very lucky ones to have survived this long.
Please donate to Head for the Cure if you have it in you to support such an important cause in my life!”