Posted on July 24, 2008


so now i’m utterly annoyed.  since august 2007, i have heard more about brain tumors and brain cancer than i have ever cared to.  it’s been all over tv (grey’s anatomy), in the news (ted kennedy) and in my face (my mom).  and while i know it won’t go away, nor do i wish the information to disappear (quite the contrary), i am appalled at how often it is used in media and not in a good informative way. 

for instance, it was recently revealed that a new plotline on grey’s anatomy would have one of it’s character’s being diagnosed with a brain tumor.  as such, she would “hallucinate” and have visions of those long dead and the likes, all because she spoke out about not having a fabulous emmy worthy storyline last year.

first, didn’t they already do a brain tumor storyline, like, ALL LAST SEASON?!  it wasn’t bad enough that they had some whiny, amateur developing and running a trial treatment using virus injections into the brain to shrink tumors (stolen information developed in 2000, by john bell, md and a research group at the university of ottawa and further researched by dr anthony van den pol of yale university, using the vesicular stomatitis virus or artificial strains of the virus)?  not to mention the length of time it takes to get a trial off the ground is measured in several months (if not years), not a summer, and the fact that while being effective in human brains implanted in mice, the risk to humans is HUGE!

second, brain tumors/cancer aren’t entertainment.  they are incredibly horrible, especially glioblastomas.  it was heart-wrenching watching my mother wither away, looking at silly monkey as if she would never see him again and then take her last breath.  and what happened to our family, NOT ENTERTAINING!

i found the following on the NATIONAL BRAIN TUMOR FOUNDATION WEBSITE – it is eloquently put and sums up what happens to a patient and their loved ones.  really, it just touches the surface, but i hope you’ll see what i’m getting at…

to a large extent, what happens to you depends on the type of tumor you have, its location, the area of the brain involved and the forms of therapy you’ll have. but each patient is different, and these are not the only factors to be considered.

the more you and your family know and understand each aspect of your treatment, the less uncertainty remains about what will happen. the confidence you place in yourself and your medical caretakers makes a tremendous difference. perhaps most important of all is your outlook toward your condition and treatment and your willingness to believe in the power of healing. brain tumor patients have a right to remain hopeful in the fight against their illness and its aftermath. hope is a powerful coping strategy that empowers patients to look beyond the moment and into the future.

for patients and their families, the brain tumor experience is a journey into an unknown land filled with uncertainty. through the diagnosis, treatments and follow-up visits, there’s much to learn and cope with physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

according to the NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE, of the 18,500 new cases in 2005, 12,760 died.  and according to the AMERICAN BRAIN TUMOR ASSOCIATION, it is estimated that 44,865 new cases of primary brain tumors will be diagnosed in 2008 alone.  do the math.  it’s not pretty.  it’s not entertaining.

and now that i’ve stepped down from my soapbox…

i’m not saying i don’t love me some tv.  i do.  and i generally do enjoy grey’s anatomy and all that comes with it (impalements, compartment’s syndrome, etc), i’m just done with the tv of the brain tumor.  i just miss my mom.

Posted in: family stuff