cowgirlup's Journey with Intermediate-Grade Astrocytoma

Survivor: Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors in Adults > Glioma > Astrocytoma > Intermediate-Grade Astrocytoma

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: over 7 years ago, Female, Age: 42

  1. 1
    • cowgirlup
    • Experience with Intermediate-Grade A...
    over 4 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    After my neurologist said the words, "You have a brain tumor", I didn't really hear anything else he said. My initial thought was, "I don't know anyone who has survived one. Well, I guess I will have to be the first then. I have 3 children and a husband who need me. I can beat this."

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  2. 2
    • cowgirlup
    • Experience with Intermediate-Grade A...
    over 4 years ago
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    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    I didn't really have time to think about the fact I would be having brain surgery. It all happened so fast. I was my first surgery, too, so I didn't really know what to expect. I had never had anesthetic before, either, so I really didn't know what to expect. Everything went like clockwork, though, and the surgical team was outstanding!

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  3. 3
    • cowgirlup
    • Experience with Intermediate-Grade A...
    over 4 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    I took oral Temodar. I didn't get as sick as I thought I would. I took an anti-nausea pill (Zofran) 1/2 an hour before I took the chemo. Then I would take the chemo pill and go to bed. The biggest side effect was extreme fatigue for me. So for the 5 days a month I had to take it, I pretty much did nothing. I was very grateful to have such wonderful children and a husband who really stepped up and made a huge difference, carrying so much of the load.

    Easy to Do: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  4. 4
    • cowgirlup
    • Experience with Intermediate-Grade A...
    over 4 years ago
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    External radiation

    Radiation

    I had amazing technicians! The radiation treatments were simple and only took about 15 minutes a day. Treatments were 5 days a week for 6 weeks. This proved to be an enjoyable time, as different friends volunteered to drive me to and from my treatments each day. I had five different friends who each took one day during the six weeks as their designated day. Sometimes we even went out to lunch together after treatments. I didn't lose all my hair, either. I'm so glad my technicians convinced me not to shave it all off. I only lost it in the radiation zone. Most people didn't even know I had gone partially bald, because I had some way cute hats and bohos and was able to fix the rest of my hair cute to go under them.

    Painless Experience: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Agree
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  5. 5
    • cowgirlup
    • Experience with Intermediate-Grade A...
    over 4 years ago
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    Fatigue (tiredness)

    Side Effects

    I am not a patient person, so being tired ALL THE TIME was probably my biggest challenge of all. I am a go-getter personality. I have had to learn that IT'S OKAY TO ASK FOR HELP!!!!!!!!!!!! It's also good to listen to your body. If I start getting tired, I take a nap. If I start getting overwhelmed, I call for backup. It's hard after usually being the giver to get used to the idea that you CAN'T DO IT ALONE, and even better, You don't have to do it alone. There are a lot of people and organizations out there who are ready and waiting for an opportunity to help and serve someone just like you.

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  6. 6
    • cowgirlup
    • Experience with Intermediate-Grade A...
    over 4 years ago
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    Homeopathic/Holistic

    Other Care

    I found an amazing homeopathologist. My body has never reacted very well to chemicals of any kind, so looking for a holistic approach along with the medical field was perfect for someone like me. I used a lot of herbal rememdies and things help with everything from nausea to detoxing after chemo and radiation treatments. I also learned not to listen to half the people who claim they have found the "magical herbal cancer cure". Trust your gut and your body. It will let you know what it is you really need and what is right for you.

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  7. 7
    • cowgirlup
    • Experience with Intermediate-Grade A...
    over 4 years ago
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    Anniversary

    Celebration

    I was diagnosed with an anaplastic astrocytoma brain tumor on my 35th birthday. I know, Happy Birthday to me. One year later, while still doing chemo treatments, my husband and I and two of our children celebrated my one year diagnosis mark by hiking to the top of the biggest mountain in our Rocky Mountain range. I wore my shirt that said, "Cancer can be beaten--and I plan to kick the XXX out of it". The climb represented everything our family had been through in that past year and the great view and future ahead of us and that we could conquer hard things.

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  8. 8
    • cowgirlup
    • Experience with Intermediate-Grade A...
    over 3 years ago
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    Anniversary

    Celebration

    Fusionera! Thanks for your concern. I have been so busy living, I haven't thought much about posting an update. I am fantastic. I have spent the last few months preparing for an 11 mile canyoneering adventure:-) We are leaving tomorrow! After getting on a strict homeopathic regime of vitamins and herbs, eating healthy, and exercising every day, I feel better than I have in years. October 20 marks 4 years for me. Couldn't be better. I now only have to have check ups annually. Mine was a grade 3 anaplastic astrocytoma, and we have beat the beast!!!!!!!!!!!! Good luck to all of you. Keep you chins up and LAUGH...ALOT! It really is the best medicine :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

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