Andrew's Story: Hope

Andrew's Story: Hope

Friday June 3 is a date I wish I could forget.

On this exact day and date in 1977 I was diagnosed with the first of my 4 brain tumours, and every 13 years since, I have been diagnosed with another tumour.

This one, the first of 4, was a Medulloblastoma which was treated with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
 
The second, a Meningioma, diagnosed in October 1990, was treated only with surgery.
 
The third, a Cavernous Angioma, diagnosed in January 2003, which is inoperable as a result of its location, causes seizures for which I will be on medication for the rest of my life.
 
The fourth and most recent was found during my annual MRI scan in July 2015. After a second scan in December 2015 had shown further activity in the location and growth of the tumour, it was tagged inoperable and labeled as a Brain Stem Glioma. I was immediately put on a monthly 5 day dose of chemotherapy.
 
On Friday June 3 of this year 2016, after completing 6 rounds of 5 day monthly chemo, another MRI scan revealed that the tumour had grown by another .5cm. I was told that the present dose of chemo I was taking has been ineffective in tackling the tumour and that the dosage should be changed. The use of radiation was introduced as another method of treatment that may be helpful in dealing with the tumour. 
 
I have started a 28 day monthly round and although the daily dose is less than what I was previously taking, the monthly total is greater.
 
While in 1977 it was not known how much damage the radiation I was treated with would do and affect me for the rest of my life, it did save my life. 
 
This fourth tumour, as of yet, has fortunately not caused any further side effects.
 
I still have hope that this combination of treatments will be successful.
 
Andrew shared his story in 2012 and has provided this story as an update.
Thank you Andrew for continuing to share your story of hope!
The picture of Andrew that accompanies this story was taken on his birthday, a month after his latest diagnosis.
 
Update: July 2017, we are saddened to hear that Andrew has lost his long, valiant and courageous battle.

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