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Treatment Overview

I guess the first step in my treatment was the surgery.  I had the craniotomy performed on December 17, 2012 at 6am.  I don’t think I slept the night before at all, but didn’t mind since I had to be in LA at 4:15am which meant leaving my house around 3:30am.  Plus I figured I would have plenty of time to sleep with my impending hospital stay.  I wanted to spend as much time with my family and my girlfriend as possible because I chose the more risky procedure of doing my craniotomy asleep opposed to awake.  The doctors highly suggested that I do the procedure awake to make sure they did not cut out any vital areas of my brain, but I decided from day 1 to prepare and pretend I had the worst possible ailment that could become my diagnosis (Grade IV astrocytoma or Glioblastoma Multiforme, GBM for short.)  Good thing I did, because guess what it turned out to be?!  :)  

 

With my choice to prepare for GBM’s my research suggested that the more tumor removed during the original procedure means better survival probabilities overall.  If I would have done it awake, they would have aborted the procedure at any sign of any problems regarding almost anything leaving any remaining tumor inside me.  Doing it asleep assured me they would remove as much as possible without going into known areas of danger.  I chose the more risky road and decided to face the consequences when I woke up rather than during the surgery.  I knew the risk I was taking and potentially could have had to re-learn to talk, walk, write and eat or even worse…  

 

I was out of the hospital 3 days later not only symptom free, but my eyesight was vastly improved.  I guess the tumor was putting pressure on the area of my brain the aids in vision and once the tumor was out that pressure was gone which resulted in what felt like HD glasses being put on for the first time.  (It has since returned to what it was before and actually worse due to the radiation, but it was nice while it lasted!!!)

 

The next part of my treatment began after removal of my 100 or so staples.  I moved to LA at the base of Griffith Park in Hollywood and began 30 days of radiation to my brain.  Monday-Friday with weekends off.  I also began my chemo therapy and trial drug velcade at the same time.  The chemo was oral capsules which I had to take daily for 45 days straight followed by maintenance cycles of 5 days of double dosage and 25 days off.  The velcade was an injection done in my abdomen twice a week for two weeks every month.

Once I completed the initial round of chemo and finished my radiation I began doing numerous alternative therapies.  As many and as much as I could find that had credible studies and enough scientific evidence that I could justify spending the money to pursue as long as one did not counteract any others.  This led me to begin High Dose Vitamin C, yoga, massage therapy, acupuncture, medicinal marijuana supplements and numerous other things.