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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:47 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:20 am
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Location: Perth, Australia
Hi all,
I am 46 and just been diagnosed with a Grade II Astrocytoma located in the right parietal lobe of my brain. My treatment plan at the moment is do nothing....to operate may cause more problems with brain damage than the tumour is causing at the moment in side effects and a Grade II tumour doesn't respond well to radiotherapy. Chemo is only for Stage III. So at the moment I wait and we monitor via MRI every 6 months.
In the meantime I take Kevtam for the Seizures. I also have a number of autoimmune illnesses (Thyroid, Addisons Disease, Premature Ovarian Failure, Discoid Lupus, Vitiligo) so my body really goes through it with 20 or so tablets a day.
At the moment I am getting very very fatigued, have headaches with the tumour and getting really depressed.
How the hell do we continue our lives as "normal" knowing that we may only have 5 years to live? How do we get through every day feeling so unwell with symptoms and fatigue? How do we go to work, be happy for our family and generally get on with life?
My emotions and physical symptoms are running so hot and cold at the moment and I don't know how to get them under control. Any advice would be so appreciated, thank you. :(


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 6:49 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:03 pm
Posts: 18130
Location: Australia
Hi Jacqui,

How did they diagnose the type and grade? I take it to have gone through all of this so far it may have been a few weeks or more since your diagnosis. In that case you may need to see a doctor to get things under control.

Don't be afraid to seek second opinions. It could be that if your symptoms are not being managed adequately that you could benefit from a second opinion.

I found a certain freedom in finding out that I am only likely to live a short time. I don't go to the dentist, watch TV or do things I now view as unimportant. Things that aren't a priority lose focus.

Its about what you can control, eg diet & exercise, and self-control. There are no guaranteed ways to live longer, but there are guaranteed ways to lessen your time. I liked the article by Stephen Jay Gould "The median is not the message". He was given 1 year to live and lived 20 years.

If you are in Australia you may find it helpful to call the Brain Tumour Alliance Australia 1800 857 221 or Cancer Council 13 11 20.

Take care,
Ken.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 11:33 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:20 am
Posts: 4
Location: Perth, Australia
Ken, thanks so much for your reply.
Yes I am in Perth, Western Australia.
I was diagnosed after 3 Grand Mal Seizures happened in a row at work...rushed to hospital...tests etc and then a week later had a bur hole biopsy to determine what type of tumour it is. Its a Grade II Astrocytoma. I have had a second opinion on the treatment plan etc. I have also been back to my GP re the fatigue and "tweeked" my thyroid meds and steroids for my addisons so doing all the Dr stuff.
I have put myself on a "cancer fighting food" diet....got some good books on this information and also Juicing because I am a fan of Jason Vale anyway (Juicemaster in the UK).
The hardest thing at the moment is the emotions...I have joined the Cancer Support Association and Plan to attend a seminar on 25/11, plus they have counselling which I think I need. I also joined the James Croft Brain Tumour Association and they have a Brain Tumour Expo on Sunday this weekend which I am attending.
I guess it's the shock of everything at the moment...we take for granted we are going to be here for a long time...I like your thoughts on controlling what I can and not worrying about the rest...I think I will adopt that as my mantra.
Its hard to find your new path when its all so new eh. Thanks for the help, I really do appreciate it.


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