I read that having a have a brain tumor is like waking up in the middle of a dark forest. You’re not sure how you got there, and you don’t know how you’ll get out.
Now I can appreciate what that means. My diagnosis came within hours after having a seizure in August of 2011 defining the beginning of my journey to find my way out of the dark and into the light, which would lead me back to a place that would give me some clarity, hope, and control of my life. After second opinions, hours of reading and self-educating, and then deciphering information, a treatment plan was initiated.
Although I had a lot a family and friends who were there to support me physically and emotionally, there was something missing in my recovery. I was encouraged to start attending a monthly support group exclusively for brain tumor patients and their caregivers. I found that the Brains Together For a Cure Support Group meetings once a month gave me what I was missing in my treatment plan. Both complex and basic issues were discussed and shared, helping patients and those who walked their journey with them find and exchange relevant and meaningful information to help them navigate the challenges all of us were facing in our own unique way. Who understands more clearly what you are going through than someone else who is facing the same or similar situation? Being able to access this group was and is the most valuable component to my emotional survival and my outlook on my life and my day to day living. Through laughter, tears, education, and a strong sense of community, we all have become united in a common purpose, which is to have the absolute best quality of life possible and to live every day to the fullest. I am not “out of the woods” in my recovery, but I have found my way out of the dark forest and into the light that illuminates my path for living life. I have learned that life doesn’t have to be “perfect” to be “wonderful.”
I want to personally thank the Mayo Clinic doctors and staff from Neuro-Oncology who so generously donate their time and efforts, along with giving inspiration and hope, to the members who attend this group.