Brain Cancer Stats
Tumor type: Glioma
Grade: II, Astrocytoma with gemistocytic properties (I like to call it a 2+)
Age at diagnosis: 29
Surgeries: craniotomy 1 (September 2008), and craniotomy 2.0 (February 2009)
Treatment: 24 months of Temodar (chemotherapy), 5 days on, 23 days off
Anti-nausea meds: Emend, Kytril
Anti-seizure meds: Keppra (3,000mg), Vimpat (150mg), Ativan (1mg as needed)
Current Status: Treatment complete as of April 8, 2011
Now I watch the remaining tumor and wait…
The Liz Army existed before cancer. It was my “cool” way of talking about myself in the third-person.
Oh yeah? You and what army?
The Liz Army!
The phrase was my thing. I liked it.
But after a tumor was found in my brain, my friends took the phase as a call to arms and they became The Liz Army. I was no longer alone.
At the time of diagnosis I was without medical insurance. The Liz Army (i.e., my friends) began an epic campaign to raise money for me. They hosted benefit concerts, silent auctions, ice cream socials, and placed jars around town to collect coins. They designed “LIZSTRONG” wristbands, buttons and T-shirts emblazoned with The Liz Army coat of arms.
The fundraising worked because I am still here. Seriously… my army is fearless.
I started this blog as a way to communicate to my army – my friends. And then one day I found other causes beside my own.
I found Erin. And Mark. And David, Kent, Liz Z., Toby and Bea. I found all the people who started commenting on my blog from all over the world who had brain cancer, were close to someone with brain cancer, or they had some other type of cancer and they just wanted to show solidarity by saying “hi” from across the nation.
And now that I am done with treatment, this blog is no longer just about me. It’s for the person freaking out because they got diagnosed today. It’s for the guy who’s about to go into brain surgery tomorrow morning. It’s for the mother of two, who’s on Temodar and Avastin and can no longer breast feed her three-month-old. It’s for the person who just had a bad week on Temodar, and the person who had a great MRI today. And this blog is for people who’ve finished treatment, have gone back to their “normal” life, but freak out the day before the next MRI and need comfort that there’s someone else who knows how they feel.
I commit myself to you. I am now your army.