Glioblastoma survivor: Family and faith give me hope

I’m a 58-year-old guy who never thought I would be talking about “the C word.” Nevertheless, here I am recollecting the past year contending with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain tumor, in the right temporal lobe of my brain. I’m a proud BOI, which means I was “born on island” in Galveston, Texas, a distinction I carry as a badge of honor. I’m one of seven siblings, I’m married to the love of my life, Denise, and we have three extraordinary sons, a wonderful daughter-in-law and a superhero 3-year-old grandson. They’ve all played a role in my cancer journey. Brain tumor symptoms only my wife noticed I now realize how helpful it is to have partner who knows all your quirks. When Denise mentioned I was missing a “pep in my step” and taking long naps, I didn’t think much of it and blamed it on getting older. She also noticed I had a long blank stare one day, which we later learned was a complex seizure. A few weeks later, we were out shopping, and Denise said straight out, “Let’s go to the emergency room and get you checked out.” We went to The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) Emergency Room, which we knew well since we’d spent most of our adult lives working there. After being triaged, I was wheeled to a room, then a battery of tests began. After the first test, the doctor said, “Tino, you have a tumor about the size of a lemon and it looks like cancer.” Then, after another test, he said, “It’s much bigger, about the size of an avocado.”...