Thursday, August 16, 2007

What I have

When Dr Fineman finally got my head opened up and could see the tumor, he found that it was not a slow-growing, benign tumor, but instead just the opposite: a glioblastoma multiforme or GBM,the most aggressive form of the primary brain tumors known collectively as gliomas. He broke the news to Frances and me today at our initial post-operative meeting with him. These results are still preliminary, however, since the pathology report is not finished. We will have a second post-operative meeting with him next Wednesday, hopefully with the final pathology report.

But from my perspective, there is NO REASON to despair. Although the "average" patient with a GBM may not do particularly well, I have never been "average" in anything I've done, and I sure don't plan to start now. There are patients who beat this, and I plan to be one of them. I have a crack medical team, a wonderful wife and family, and great friends and colleagues world-wide. I am involved in scientific work (energy research, specificallly fuel cells) that I find very stimulating, and that I believe is important, not only for my personal survival, but for our survival as a civilization into he next decades and centuries. That must count for something!

I am not one to rely on "God" stepping in to fix things - I tend to trust in science and technology. (Nevertheless, prayers to the God of your choice [Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, ...] will be gratefully accepted!) GBMs do respond to radiation and chemotherapy, and so there are things one can do to fight the residual tumor that couldn't be surgically resected. I am more than happy to do radiation, chemo, or whatever it takes to beat this thing! I feel we're only beginning to fight!

3 comments:

Corin said...

I just heard about this today. You'll be in our prayers!

Corin

Dave said...

Thank you Corin!

Francisco said...

Dear Dave,

I am agnostic, so my praying is somehow worthless... :-)

However I do strongly believe in science, and for my brother's glioblastoma it is working so far.

After two very intense years, with moments where we thought he was about to die, now, thanks to a clinical trial (Avastin + CPT11) my brother is back ontrack, carrying a perfectly normal life.

This ilness is very tough, but I want you to know that there is much research going on and soon glioblstomas will be history, as it has happened already with other sort of tumours. I hope you and my brother catch the wave!

Please do not hesitate in contacting me if you need anything (fhernand@gsb.uchicago.edu)

Cheers
Francisco