Yep, I'm at the 20-month mark today!
This was an important milestone for me (actually, each day that I am still drawing breath is an important milestone, but...) because I was told that most glioblastoma multiforme studies show a break point among the treatment groups at 20-24 months after diagnosis where the curve flattens out and there are very few or no further tumor recurrences or deaths. It doesn't mean that I am cured (still need prayers), but it is certainly an encouraging sign.
This "birthday" weekend was another reunion of sorts. We traveled down to The Woodlands, just north of Houston, where we lived for a few years before coming to the Dallas area. We stayed with my mom, and we attended church with her to see one of our friends' sons report on his two-year mission, which he served in Canada. I remember when he was a preschooler, and it was so fun to see him all grown up and doing so well. My friend had the typical and well-deserved "returned-missionary-mom" glow, and I couldn't help but hope that I would stick around to experience the moment when my son returns from his mission. That would be fifteen years from now, which seems like a long shot, but I remember when 20 months seemed like a long shot.
I also got to spend time with another friend, who came in from California for the same event. I saw her daughter, who recently graduated from college and is starting her master's degree program soon. I thought of my own daughter, who just turned two, and hoped that seeing these milestones among my friends' kids would end up being symbolic of what my own milestone today might portend. (If not, I'll just have to haunt my kids when they have special events!)
To celebrate this milestone I have added a feature on this blog site to help support some very relevant research that is being done to find a cure for my cancer. There are two specific funds that are worth supporting. One is Dr. Samuel Hassenbusch's fund at MD Anderson. Dr. Hassenbusch is a GBM survivor who has a vaccine treatment that is very promising. The other is Dr. Karen Fink's fund at Baylor Medical Center. Dr. Fink is my neuro-oncologist, and is very involved in research. In fact, the experimental protocol she is using on me has kept me alive and well in order to celebrate today's milestone. Please check out the links to the left for donation forms and instructions. Dr. Hassenbusch's form is pretty self-explanatory with mailing instructions; Dr. Fink's form doesn't have the mailing address printed on it, so scroll all the way down on the left of this page, past the archives list, to find out where to send it. They will send you tax receipts, and the donations go directly toward research that may very well be the answer to our prayers for my life. Any and all would be very much appreciated!