Warning this is NOT about nail polish, nail art, or stamping, but it is about life and a cause that is very important to me and I'd like you're help.
The month of May is National Brain Tumor Awareness month. This is a cause that hits very close to home. In August 2004 my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer. He was given a choice of no treatment and live three weeks or have surgery and do treatments and live roughly a year. My dad's first question to the doctors was what quality of life would I have after surgery? (In times like this we believe it's quality versus quantity.) If he was going to be a vegetable or an invalid he'd take the three weeks. One of the top neurosurgeons in our area promised that he'd remove as much of the tumor as possible with the least amount of side effects. The location of the tumor meant that, if done properly, he'd have minimal effects on his health from the surgery. We were very lucky and our surgeon was very good. After a short recovery period (and medication changes) the only major effects from the surgery was peripheral blindness and losing the ability to read. My dad recovered great and though we still had a long road ahead of us with treatments we were certain we'd made the right decision with the surgery. My dad fought very hard to live and tried to beat an unbeatable cancer, but in the end he lost the battle. I lost my dad to complications from his cancer in July 2006. We were very lucky to have had the time we did with him and the time was good. He didn't get really sick until the last three days of his life. In those two years that my dad was in constant battle with his body I seen him smile and laugh and enjoy life more then I had my entire life.
I still mourn the loss of my dad. Even after all these years I break down and cry at times because I miss him so much. I still have those moments when I need an answer to a question or some advice and think "oh I'll call dad". With all that being said I'd like to do something special for National Brain Tumor Awareness. This is where you guys come in. I'm not sure what to do. How can we help spread the word? I personally think May is the best month they could have chosen since it is my dad's birth month. The designated color for Brain Tumor Awareness is...wait for it...GREY. I also think this is great. I've seen ribbons with slogans reading "Grey Matters". So, how do we do this?
To put in to perspective how many lives this touches. More than 575 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with a primary or metastatic brain tumor each day. With nearly 600 diagnoses each day that means more than 210,000 people are diagnosed with a brain tumor each year, according to the National Brain Tumor Society. There are no screening tests in existence for early brain tumor detection. Oklahoma CyberKnife radiation oncologist Dr. Melisa Boersma describes public education on the symptoms of brain tumors as “crucial” for early detection. Brain Tumor Awareness Info
When my dad was diagnosed the doctors told us that his cancer was rare and incurable. In all honesty I don't believe that. Before my dad was diagnosed my cousin (by marriage) lost her mom to the same cancer and then a few years after my dad passed my uncle (by marriage) was diagnosed with the same cancer and passed away this October. That is three people completely unrelated genetically diagnosed with the exact same cancer and all three lost their battle.There are several types of brain tumors and not all have a death sentence. My neighbor was diagnosed with a brain tumor and after surgery is looking at a long life. But we NEED to spread awareness. Will you all please put your heads together and help me out with spreading my message?
Thanks for reading (and letting me share with you). See you soon. :p
Links for helpful information. National Brain Tumor Awareness Society, Oklahoma Cyberknife, Choose Hope (Purchasable Items), American Cancer Society