Today we feature a post from Steve Keverline on why RQS Cares has chosen to support The Race for The Place.
My father, sister and I stood in the hospital room by my mother’s side. We were anxious to learn the cause of her recent dizzy spells and loss of appetite. She had a CT scan earlier that day and we waited patiently to talk to the doctor to see what he had to say.
The CT scan showed a baseball-sized tumor in her lower left lobe of her brain. Immediately, the doctor diagnosed it as an advanced (grade 4) glioblastoma multiforme, one of the worst and most aggressive brain cancers. The doctor was direct and told us my mother had three months to live, and while surgery may extend this, her prognosis was not good. I was devastated when I heard the news. How could the one I love so much be diagnosed with such a terrible form of cancer? I would do anything to make her better, but I didn’t know what to say or what to do. I was in shock and scared. I worried for her and for what the future may yield.
Finding out someone you love has cancer can be very stressful and overwhelming. You want to assure them everything will be okay and they will get better, but the reality is it’s not in your control. Emotions vary from denial to anger, fear, sadness, anxiety and depression. Without a support network that can educate and help you and the victim work through the fears and concerns about cancer and its treatment, your emotions can spin out of control. Organizations such as the Gathering Place can help you feel more in control and less worried about what lay ahead. They assist the victim, family and friends cope through all stages of the cancer including diagnosis, treatment, hospitalization, recurrence and end of life.
In the case of my mother’s diagnosis, we did not believe that three months was acceptable. We spent countless hours researching the disease, looking for potential treatments, networking and talking to others. She wanted to fight it and we agreed that as long as her quality of life remained good we would do everything we could to support the fight for one more day together. After two brain surgeries, multiple chemo therapy drugs, radiation, an investigational drug and clinical study using a novel magnetic field device, she maintained a good quality of life for 14 months giving us the opportunity to share together another grandson’s concert, another granddaughter’s play, another Christmas and her 76th birthday.
Nothing beautiful in this world is ever lost, because all precious things live on in memory.
1 – The Gathering Place is a nonprofit, community-based cancer support center to fill an unmet need in the greater Cleveland community. The programs and services offered address the social, emotional, physical, and spiritual needs of individuals with cancer and their support network. The mission of The Gathering Place is to support, educate and empower individuals and families touched by cancer through programs and services provided free of charge.