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Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2010

In 2007 my boyfriend found out he had a brain tumor. I'm not sure the type, it was removed with surgery and he went through chemo and radiation. It was gone. We recently found out it was back. I didn't know him the first time around. I met him right after his surgery and then again a year later-when we fell in love. We were together for 18 months. I knew we were going to get married. In November 09 he started acting differently toward me. He got mean and distant. In December, he found out his tumor is back. By the 4th of this month, we were broken up. I know this mean, hateful and at times uncaring man isn't the real Travis. He's not the man I knew. And for that reason alone, I can't give up on him and us until he gets better and I see for myself if the guy I love comes back. What I'm needing to know is, could this tumor have changed him so much? I just need answers, and right now, we're friends, but he will only let me so close. Thanks.

Posts: 4
Joined: Feb 2010

I married my husband in 1998 and we had our son in 1999. My husband was the most passive, positive, fun loving individual I had ever met. He was a pacifist by nature and would give anyone and I mean anyone the shirt off of his back b/c he saw the good in everything and everyone. By the time my son was three months old he had changed drastically. Went from passive to aggressive, fun loving to bitter. Everything that happened not matter what it was my fault. I had a new baby and I hung in there. By March of 2000 he had lost his job and was even worse. I became the only bread winner and was still taking care of a baby. I worked long hours and he couldn't do the simplest of tasks. I remember when my son was 18 months old coming home from work and him saying he was hungry. When I asked my husband what he had fed my son, he said nothing he didn't tell me he was hungry. This lack of effective reasoning grew drastically and by May of 2002, I was done dealing with a lazy, aggressive, good for nothing man. I was lost b/c the man I married had been gone for so long it was hard for me to see why I married him in the first place.

Needless to say in Aug 2002, I went to see a divorce attorney before work and then went in for my shift. Upon, my return home I found that my husband was upset. It took me 2 hours to figure out what had been going on. Long story short I took him in to the ER to find out that he had a tumor that was 8.5X 7X11 cm in his frontal and temporal lobes of his brain. All of the changes somehow made sense. I was overwhelmed with guilt for not seeing that something was wrong sooner. His diagnosis an anaplastic astrocytoma III. He was given 3 wks to 3 months to live at the time and I was devastated. The doctors were astonished at the fact that he could walk let alone talk due to the size and location of the tumor. He had already exceeded the expectations of medical professionals. After debulking, chemo (Temodar), and 33 cycles of radiation I took him home unsure of what was yet to come. My husband has never returned. His lack of effective reasoning, lack of inhibitions, lack of self initiation, short term memory etc at times seems minimal but the reality is that he was a very intelligent man to begin with therefore; has the ability to show what he wants if it benefits him. He is alive today and will probably out live me. I am still haunted by guilt, and can not and will not leave him because of it. I am now his legal guardian and take the brunt of anything and everything that does not go his way. I liken his mental state to that of a child that is going through an entitlement phase. He wants what he wants and he wants it now. He doesn't have the ability or insight to understand how what he does affects those around him and though he may say what he's learned to help him gain sympathy he never really means what he says. (i.e. my son is the most important thing in my life, I want to do this and that....but never ever shows it or follows through)Most of the past 7+ years have been nothing more than a disappointment for my son now 10. I often wonder if I am doing my child a disservice by hanging tough and am truly convinced that he will outlive me.

Long story short yes, a tumor can change a person this drastically and sometimes even more so as in my case; however; as a caregiver my advice would be to follow your heart have hope but do not be unrealistic. He may never be the "Travis" you once knew again.

With many wishes of luck.

Posts: 4
Joined: Feb 2010

I agree with "Life is too short". I read both stories and it brought tears to my eyes. My husband is 34yrs old. He started getting minor symptoms in Oct 2009 and they eventually progressed till he ended up in the hospital Jan 8, 2010. He had surgery Jan 25th to remove 1 tumor but 2 are too deep to remove. He was diagnosed with GBM IV & prognosis given was 12-18 months. He is under going chemo & radiation now. We have been together for 8 yrs. I started noticing mood swings and behavioral changes slowly. After we found out about the tumors it made sense. He is not the man I met and fell in love with anymore. I have always been an optimistic person, but I am also a realist. And reality is that he will never be the same again. I am his primary caregiver and at times it is very difficult to cope. But....I just give myself a timeout and breathe. I do bring it up to his attention when he gets moody or mean which is daily. He very rarely shows his affection towards me anymore. And if things don't go his way..... I am the one to blame. There are days he ignores me all day & if he talks to me you can feel the bitterness in his voice.
I do have faith and hope for the best. But, I have to be realistic b/c I am the one here with him and having to take care of things and make decisions for not only his care but for our family and children.

Posts: 8
Joined: Mar 2010

I can remember what I used to be like before I had my tumor. I was full of energy, very nice, caring, would do anything for my husband. After being diagnosed and feeling the symptoms of a brain tumor, I was so tired, felt so sick, and had such terrible headaches that I was a totally different person. It changed my personality completely. I just felt like I could never get cheered up or happy when I used to be fun loving. The new me was always acting PMSy. It was all because of where the tumor was pushing on my brain. I've had it removed and I am acting more myself, but I don't know if I will ever be the same as my old self again. Sorry.

Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2010

What he is going through is rough, but if you just except him being mean nothing will change. I'm the one that had the brain tumor, but my husband suffers with depression and I've learned through the years that it takes a little tough love to get through it. I love him with all my heart and he knows it, but I had to set the limits of what I would tolerate. You know what he learned to controll it. He has bad days like all of us, but he does not let it rule his life. Thank god, because we sure would not have made through this last year if he did.

danielgharper's picture
Posts: 13
Joined: Apr 2010

I was diagnosed with a glioblastoma in 2007. I had surgery, did the standard 6 weeks of radiation and temodar, then did 6 more months of chemo through Duke University in N.C. I was cancer free and symptom free for 2.5 years, until January, 2010. Since then, I've had 6 seizures, 2 MRIs, 1 P.E.T. scan, 5 visits with oncologists, a radiologist, a neurologist, and a neuro-oncologist in Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, and at UCSF in San Fran. All of these doctors who all gave me different suggestions and treatment plans. I listened to none of them except my neuro-oncologist, who kindly gave me 1.25 hours of his time to show me on the MRIs why it was obvious my cancer had returned. My neurologist said it hadn't returned, and my primary oncologist hasn't called me since I got an MRI he ordered or since surgery. Its now been over 1 month, and I haven't heard from him!

I have no reason to call him as I don't respect his opinion. After seeing my first MRI in January, he said he thought there was a 60% chance that the small growth appearing on the scan was cancer cells come back to haunt me. He said that I shouldn't consider surgery anytime soon, and he prescribed me Temodar. This could possibly be due to the fact that two-thirds of an oncologists income comes from prescribing chemotherapy (found in a book by Dr. Allen Spreen, an Medical Doctor and Health Sciences Institute researcher).

I am by no means a crazy natural therapy-inclined person with a vendetta against modern medicine and doctors. I simply recognize the dramatic need America has for reform in cancer treatment and the way pharmaceutical companies control the FDA. For example, members on the board of an FDA approval committee for a certain drug are allowed to receive up to $50,000 from the company soliciting their approval, and still serve on the board. This information is available to the general public, but I found it in the New England Journal of Medicine, amongst other places.

God bless, danielgharper@yahoo.com

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