~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ...needs your help. I am currently battling a brain and spinal fluid diagnosis..stages 3 and 4. In June 2012, I started to lose vision in my right eye. I saw an eye doctor locally who said it was a swelling in my optic nerve which could be caused by many things. The doctor recommended I see someone who knows a little more about the issue that I was having, so they sent me to Pacific Cataract and Laser Institute in Centralia. The doctor said pretty much the same thing - optic nerve swelling, could be Multiple Sclerosis, could be a tumor, could be nothing...and then referred me to a neurophthalmologist in Seattle for further testing.
I saw the specialist in early July, did an MRI, and found a mass on my optic nerve. The doctor aid it was a tumor, but that it was definitely, *DEFINITELY* benign (meaning non-cancerous). The doctor was so sure that it was not cancer that he decided to just treat me himself with at-home steroid injections (which had no effect), and after seeing him again 3 weeks later, I did another MRI which showed that the tumor had grown, my vision had worsened, and this delayed my treatments by about 3 weeks. I was then referred to a neurosurgeon at the Ben and Catherine Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment. The neurosurgeon I saw ordered another MRI, and although he also agreed the tumor was benign, because of my worsening vision, he suggested we do an open craniotomy to biopsy the tumor. At this point I was also informed that the tumor is inoperable so they can't remove it, but they would need to take a piece to test to just MAKE SURE it wasn't cancer. I go and see the neurosurgeon, set up my surgery date, and wait. By this point, my right eye had gone completely blind and I was told there was no way that the damage could be reversed.
On August 3, 2012 I underwent the surgery and biopsy...and that benign tumor they were SO sure was benign ended up being malignant (cancerous).
I was diagnosed with a stage III (stage IV is the absolute worst, most aggressive form) astrocytoma. Primary brain cancer. Specifically, a glioma which is a nerve tumor. Because of the location, my left eye will likely also go completely blind if we can't stop the growth of the tumor. I just had an MRI about a week ago and it has grown by 40% within a month.
We are putting chemotherapy and radiation on hold right now. I am in Texas currently until September 26th doing this alternative, non-toxic treatment before I do anything else that will make me sick and make my hair fall out and possibly not solve the problem at all. The worst case scenario right now is nothing happens at all, and I will continue with another form of treatment. A lot of people who die from cancer die from the effects of radiation, not the cancer itself. Also, if I do radiation, the doctor said because of where the tumor is located, it will destroy my pituitary gland, I will not be able to have children, I will go into menopause and I will definitely lose my other eye. I want to try and prevent these problems if at all possible, hence why I am taking this route in the first place.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and thank you for any help you can provide.
Here is another story provided from my grandfather:
"My 26 year old grand daughter was recently (within the past few months) diagnosed with an inoperable stage III (possibly IV) malignant astrocytoma located on her optic nerve and it growing into the optic chasm. Within approximately a month, MRI's showed that the tumor had grown by 40%. It is extremely aggressive; The first sign that Abra experienced was loss of sight in her right eye....she went blind. The tumor's growing very quickly and my daughter, thru her employer, borrowed money to begin treatment with Dr Burzynski in Houston. She's there now and is scheduled to leave on the 26th to return home to Washington State. Abra's sight in her good eye is now getting worse. A major problem with Burzynski is the cost and unless you're wealthy you're prevented from completing, much less starting, his treatments so we're interested in trying to get as much assistance from any outside source we can possibly accumulate. She will need to be on treatments continuously for at least a year, and these treatments will cost on average about $7,600 per month. Any and all help is greatly appreciated"