In December 2008, my mother, at the age of 48, had the onset of what we later found out was a Glioblastoma. She was brushing her hair, when, as she described, she heard a snapping in head and sudden loss of strength and vision. That lead to diagnosis of a "stroke." If only they were right. In February, after a progression of symptoms, the neurologist finally ordered another MRI which then showed a 6cm mass to her ocipital lobe. She was soon in for surgery (with biopsy,) and then radiation and chemo.
From April 2009 until September 2010 she received Temodar every month, with no more side effects than expected. With the restaging MRIs every 3 months we were pleasantly surprised with "NO GROWTH" each time. She never regained the vision to her left eye, nor her short term memory or focus, therefore, was never able to return to work; but each day she would be in the kitchen cooking, it was her therapy. She would even go to my sons soccer games, and school concerts.
In October 2010, she had a second episode of severe intercerebral pressure, this landed her in the hospital with intractable vomitting, unbearable headache, and severe confusion. We knew what this meant. MRI confirmed growth. Her platelets also kept dropping, delaying surgery. She did make it to my wedding, Nov 6th, which was so fulfilling. She continuted to drop all her blood counts pointing toward Bone Marrow Failure. We found the amazing "Brain Tumor Center" at Yale which agreed that with blood transfusions we could stop delaying surgery.
On December 2 she went in for a second resection of her tumor. One thing led to another, one complication on another. On Thursday December 9th she asked us to hold to our promise, she was suffering each day at that point, and had asked to be taken off support and allowed to let God's will be done. On Thursday we said goodbye to what was left of mom, the part that this disease hadn't stolen. On Friday evening, her body left this world. She wanted us to celebrate her life, not to mourn and grieve over her passing. To an amazing mother, wife, caregiver, and grandmother: you will forever be in our hearts, I promise I will take care of your other 2 children. I will give her the best sweet 16 possible, I will teach her how to drive, how to not let the boys walk all over her, how to move on. We love you so much, you are the strongest person we could have ever imagined!
- Submitted by Annette Belanger