Wednesday, September 21, 2016

“New Report Shows Brain Cancer is Deadliest Childhood Cancer”

I found this headline and the latest brain tumor news upsetting, horrifying and painful: "Brain Cancer Now Leading Childhood Cancer Killer” -

I keep bumping into folks who have recently received bad brain tumor news. Sometimes they find me and sometimes I reach out to them.

Usually they just want to tell their story – their symptoms, diagnosis, etc. – to somebody who has an idea of what they are going through. It isn’t fun or easy or rewarding, its hard and depressing. But I feel like I need to give them a venue/listening ear/opportunity to talk to somebody who isn’t part of their family and friends network.

And then I read this: “Brain Cancer is the Deadliest Childhood Cancer.” That means some poor kid who hasn’t ever had a chance to have an adult life is going to have the opportunity of a lifetime, literally, snatched away from them. Thinking about it just makes me want to curl up into a little ball, roll into a corner and cry.

Alternately, I want to wail at the sky about the unfairness of it all. I imagine young parents being whacked upside the head with the worst news imaginable. If I were them, the pain would be unimaginable, unmanageable and unbearable; especially given the fact that they’ll have to “be strong” for their child and deny their own pain.

As the NY Times article points out, while that are more incidents of leukemia, brain cancer accounts for more deaths because we (that’s all of us including you and me) can’t figure out how to adequately fight this relentless nemesis.

If it sounds like I’m venting, I am. A close friend of ours is dying from GBM. All the usual inadequate treatments have failed to help this courageous, wonderful woman who grasped every joy out of life that she could.  

I want to close by saying that I believe that brain cancer has an insidious aspect to it that other cancers do not. Brain cancer destroys a fundamental element of who a person is. As brain function disintegrates, the person we knew and loved transmogrifies into a ghost of the person we once knew.

I hate it.

Copyright: <a href=''>nuiiko / 123RF Stock Photo</a>