Clinical trial gives recurrent glioblastoma survivor hope

I was a just a young, 20-year-old in college student when the symptoms began. In early November 2005, I started having bad headaches and dizzy spells, and my ears became sensitive to sound. My local physician ordered an MRI and EKG. On Dec. 16, I met with a neurologist to get the results. He told me I had a brain tumor and would need surgery to remove it. Later that afternoon, I met with the surgeon. He explained everything and didn’t seem worried. We scheduled a follow-up appointment for the next week. But just a few days later, I had a grand mal seizure and went to the ER. Once I was stable enough, I was flown by Life Flight to a larger hospital. Sadly, I wasn’t awake – I’m sure the helicopter ride would’ve been fun! Brain tumor diagnosis and a second opinion I had my first brain tumor surgery the next week. I was diagnosed with oligodendroglioma, a type of brain cancer. The first oncologist I saw told me I only had two to five years to live. I was so aggravated. I was 20, and my life hadn’t even started! I was in denial, so we went to MD Anderson for a second opinion. During my first appointment, I learned that I actually had a different type of brain tumor — anaplastic astrocytoma. I completed six weeks of radiation therapy, followed by a new type of chemotherapy called Temodar®, which is now commonly prescribed for brain tumors. I started taking the Temodar® pills once a month for five days at a time in May 2006. I...