Eight years ago today, I called to wish my mom a happy birthday. We had just gotten home from the hospital with Little P, who was a whopping 5 pounds at that point. I remember the day being unusually warm for the end of November in New York, at least 65. It was sunny, and gorgeous. We talked for a few minutes, I remember feeling odd, that this was the first birthday that I had not been with her in my whole life. As we were saying good bye, she stopped me in mid sentence, and very quietly asked me what my name was.
My mom would have been 55 today. Brain Tumors are a under researched medical problem. When she was diagnosed, she was given a 5% chance of survival. We were able to have 14 months together, and I am unbelievably thankful for every moment. The research is not supported enough, and there is such little known about the origin and rate of growth of specific types of brain tumors, due to the inability for exploratory surgery because of the locations of the tumors in so many patients.
Duke has The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center. They strive for a cure, actively researching every moment. If you have ever had this effect your life, you will understand the frustrations that follow the diagnosis. There is a lot of uncertainty where traditional cancer treatments are not effective or quick working enough. The rate that brain tumors can grow is staggering. The doctors at Duke reviewed my mom's case, they were supportive and personal. I would support them to continue their research so more people have a bigger and better fighting chance. My mom was a fighter, right up to that last breath. She would want more people to be better educated about this. Early warning signs are easily overlooked in so many cases or even misdiagnosed, click here are some examples. Take a moment to read, be educated, be aware, be around to celebrate as many birthdays as you can.