I am torn about how to write this, but I feel like I need to shed some light on this beast that is brain cancer and the horrific way it steals our loved ones.
Let me begin by saying that each journey is different and what I am going to share is not from any one particular person, but more a conglomeration of things that a person with brain cancer may suffer through. I want to share it not for the shock value but because I so often hear brain cancer compared to other cancers, and it is so unlike other cancers.
First the simple stuff. Brain cancer patients can lose the function of nearly any part of their body. They may lose bowel and bladder control, the ability to walk, the ability to see and hear. It is terrifying for them to slowly watch their level of function decrease – never knowing what might happen next.
They are usually told at the beginning that brain cancer doesn’t spread to other parts of your body. That isn’t entirely true because it can spread to the spine. Whether or not it spreads to the spine, you could still lose the ability to walk.
Most brain cancer patients suffer through seizures of varying intensity and length. This could be something that happens occasionally or constantly.
Then things get more complex. Where the tumor is growing can make a major difference on how the patient experiences life. Some become irrationally angry. They may not recognize loved ones – to the point of becoming violent toward those loved ones, even if they have been the daily care provider. They can be easily confused, questioning the most basic facts and reality.
When the tumor grows, it frequently causes hydrocephalus, which can be the cause of death. It can also press on the part of their brain that makes them throw up, so that they do so constantly and uncontrollably.
All of the things I’ve talked about here are strictly related to brain cancer itself. Most cancers are treated with some combination of chemo, radiation, and/or surgery, so I didn’t include the various and plentiful side effects and complications from those symptoms.
As I write this, I am mourning for the loss of a brain cancer warrior who was a son, a husband, and a father. He was in the prime of his life with young children who lived with the very harsh reality of brain cancer. As I write this I am praying for others I haven’t dared to count – among them many sweet, innocent children. I am not a doctor or a scientist. I can’t do their jobs, but I can do something to make their lives easier.
We have formed the Dragon Master Foundation to make research faster and more efficient. We are going to need a lot of help, but it can be done. We are eager to partner with other non-profits, hospitals and research institutions that are passionate about finding a cure.
If you are reading this, you CAN make a difference in the fight against brain cancer. Share this post. Like Dragon master Foundation on Facebook. Share it with your friends. Each voice makes the sound louder. Each person who knows about this grim reality puts us one us one step closer to the cure.