Brain Tumour Survivor

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 Post subject: Peter Ballards story.
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2005 6:29 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2005 4:39 pm
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My name is Sue Ballard. In November 2003 my husband Peter was diagnosed with a GBM stage 4 in the parieto-occipital lobe - he actually had one tumour over-lying another.
Two operations were performed within a week to excise as much tumour as possible but we were given the usual grim prognosis.
The first oncologist we were referred told us that chemotherapy was a waste of time - it would simply ruin any quality of life Pete had remaining!
One day I will thank that man for his miserable outlook as he simply spurred us on to seek someone else with a more positive attitude!!

We decided that the "usual treatment" would probably deliver the "usual result" so we knew we had to investigate other legitimate options. Pete had the usual 6 weeks of radiotherapy and it was during this time that we also had our first consult with Prof. Avni Sali. His positive attitude served to confirm our belief that there is more to the cancer story than our western medical model promotes.

In April 2004 Pete had his third operation, to remove re-current tumour.
Ten days at the Gawler Foundation in May 2004 was invaluable for all that it teaches - to say nothing of the inspiration of Ian Gawler himself. We didn't actually make it through the whole ten days as Pete was hospitalised yet again as his wound was leaking cerebro-spinal fluid. He was found to have an infection so the bone from the craniotomy site was removed and in August 2004 a new perspex prosthesis was inserted.

Pete has been on chemotherapy since February 2004, initially having two doses of I/V Caelyx (Doxorubicin) as well as commencing Temodal 100mg, following a regime of 14 days on and 14 days off. Our oncologist decided against Caelyx in favour of Hycamtin (Topotecan). This has shown favourable results in childhood brain tumours in Germany. He has had no problems with chemo but of course he is on multiple supplements to assist as much as possible.

For at least the first year we were very strict with our diet, largely following the Gawler Foundation guidelines which are much the same as those recommended by Prof. Sali and Jeanne Wallace (American nutritionist). This meant no red meat, wheat or dairy products etc.

While all of the physical aspects are important, we firmly believed that a positive attitude was vital- we wanted our friends and family to catch that positive energy as well as we needed a believing team around us. Pete took up meditation and it was a great relief to him the day he told his employer he would not be returning to work. He works hard at avoiding stress these days!

In November 2004 the MRI revealed that while there was some enhancement, it was probably resolving tumour. The next MRI in February 2005 revealed "No evidence of residual or recurrent tumour"! Repeat scans in May and August have had the same result.

Pete remains really well and we are choosing to see this condition and our experiences in a positive light - and to hopefully bring some of that light to others. We both believe there are many discoveries yet to be made to beat this condition and there are also many more options available than our current medical system accepts. Hopefully they won't take too long to catch up to us!

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