Oct 23, 2011 - 2:26 pm
Hello all, my name is Thomas and I am an AA3 survivor and just recently found this site and have chosen to post my story for encouragement and inspiration to others that have been diagnosed with this or other cancers. I will give you a brief history so you can somewhat see WHO I am.
I was born December 29, 1970, this is just so you know my age, I am not going to make you read my autobiography, lol. I went into the service at the age of 18 and served almost 10 of combined service, US NAVY and US ARMY. I am a combat veteran and a very independent person. My life has been filled with excitement, from fast roping out of helicopters into the bush, playing guitar and singing on the stages of Nashville, riding down Main St of Sturgis on my Harley, working on a horse ranch in New Mexico, to driving across the country in an 18 wheeler haulin freight, this was my occupation when I was I was diagnosed in late 2006.
I started having to sleep a lot more than usual and I was having bouts of confusion and memory loss, for instance, I would might tell someone that I done one thing or another and a few minutes later I would tell them again. The confusion was a big thing and actually was the straw that broke the camels back, as they say. I was driving to a shopping mall in an adjoining town which was a straight shot down the highway and got confused as to what exit to take. I had been to this mall thousands of time. It was then I decided to go to my doctor and get a check up. I thought I had developed diabetes, as this runs in my family. I was tested for diabetes with negative results, this was good, but I still could not understand why I was having these issues. They tested me for Alzheimer's and, of course did blood work and labs and so on and so forth. Then, decided to do a CT scan. There it was, looked like a gulf ball in my head. You would really have to know my sense of humor to appreciate what I said to the doctor that I had a brain tumor. Anyway, I was called into the doctors office and the doctor said, "Thomas, your CT came back and it is showing a tumor." I said, " Is that all, well at least it's not a cavity, I hate going to the dentist". He, of course, looked at me like I was nuts. So from there the ball started rolling. I was referred to a neurosurgeon, who said that it was inoperable for reasons i do not recall. We eventually heard about Dr. Jon Tew from University Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio who specialized in inoperable tumors. I was sent for numerous different MRI's and other tests and finally got my surgery date. At this point it was not confirmed that it was cancer, just a tumor that needed to be removed. The location of the tumor was along the motor strip of my left frontal lobe. Loosing mobility of the right side of my body was a concern, but the concern for loosing mobility of my right leg was an even bigger concern. The surgery was performed with better than satisfactory results. I had no issues whatsoever, except a headache, this was GREAT. Then we found out that the tumor was in fact CANCER, this was bad. So, I went to see oncologist, radiologist and a long list of different people with different specialties. I received a report that stated, WITH treatments, my life expectancy was 1.5 years. God had other plans for me, and maybe this is it, to tell everyone of you who read this, YOU are WORTHY of a miracle, all you have to do is ask God for it, which my family and I did, A LOT. It was not an easy road to travel, but it is one that is behind me now. I did 35 radiation treatments, which most of you probably already know, is all the radiation you can do to your head in a lifetime, I also did around 65 chemo treatments, which was oral temodar. I was taking Kepra as an anti-seizure med. By this time I had lost everything and was living with my parents, AGAIN, after being on my own for so many years. This was an adjustment, not just for me, but for my parents as mainly because, all you mothers know this, in my mother's eyes, I was still a little boy. I was on disability for around 3 years, I think, and after I went back to driving a truck. I drove truck for probably a year and just did not enjoy it like I used to so, I am now working in the profession that I had previously went to college for, which is aircraft maintenance.
The moral, I guess, to this story is, even though you are given the news that you have cancer, even terminal cancer, it's not the end of the world. The doctors are just that, doctors. Your life, as they say, is what you make of it. God has the final say..........................
If you made it through all this, I thank you for reading it and I hope that I have been helpful. Please, feel free to leave comments and ask questions if you like. I will try to answer them them all. Again, thank you and God bless.
Almost forgot, I just had my annual MRI this past August and there were NO signs of any new tumors. :>)
There is a song that I used to sing quit often, at the end of the song I will send you a link that you can go to hear the song how it is sung by a friend of mine with a voice that make the word "heavenly" come to mind.
WHEN I NEED THE STRENGTH TO GO ON
WHEN A KING WITH SO MUCH POWER
I used to sing this song at my Church, it helped Christians through some hard times and brought numerous lost souls to Christ. I do not have a link with me singing it, but my good friend Richard Propps does a wonderful job. The name of the band is "BLUE STORM" and they were wonderful, they split up awhile ago which was a very sad day for the music world. I heard recently that the fiddle player, Steve Williams had past away due to heart problems, I actually run that site. Well, let me know what you think.