Some of you may not know but, last September (2016) as I was preparing for a new school year as a 5th grade teacher, I was tired and thought I was suffering from a stress related headache. It was, after all, the beginning of the school year. Pete took me to Duke Emergency Room, they ran many tests and it was determined that I had a brain tumor. To say we were in shock would be an understatement. I was admitted that night and the tumor, (I called it Fred it seemed less frightening that way), was removed on 9/7/16. I cannot say enough about the staff at Duke. When I was done with the 42 days of radiation and chemo, I then began the second part of my journey- a year of chemo 5 days out of the month, monthly visits with my oncology team, MRIs every other month, a lot of fatigue and good days and bad days, but many more good than bad. I am happy to report that it is just over a year and there has been no new signs of cancer (Fred or any of his family) and I look forward to getting back to being me. My cancer returned in November 2017, but my Duke team went straight into action and giving me options for treatment. I had one round of SRS and continue oral chemo with an infusion every third week to help with brain swelling. When I went back for radiation - the techs were the same and remembered me and my need to keep my eyes closed through the whole mask on/off and what music I liked to listen to. I know I'll be okay because of my family, faith, friends, and my Duke team!
Everyone’s journey and cancer are different. For a good friend of mine, Basil Guirguis, his ended much differently. So, I want to remember him as a part our walk. He will be represented on our shirts (LLB - Live Like Basil). I hope you join us either by making a donation to our team and/or walk with us on April 28, 2018. All donations go directly to Duke to research Brain Tumors.
– Love and thanks! Marisa & Peter