As soon as I heard the news last week that Senator Ted Kennedy was hospitalized for a seizure, I wondered if he might have a brain tumor. (Seizures were my presenting symptom, too.) And sure enough, today's news about Senator Kennedy's malignant tumor has been flooding the airwaves (even drowning out the primary election going on today, which is the only good thing about this happening).
Our local Fox news station has some video of Dr. Fink (my miracle-working neuro-oncologist) as she discusses the location of the tumor:
I liked Dr. Fink's approach because it is straightforward instead of trying to go for the sensationally devastating.
It's so interesting to see how other news coverage portays things to hype up the negative. Although the specific pathology has not been released yet, it seems like every article I read jumps right to the possibility of glioblastoma. (The kind of tumor that I have.)
I kept reading descriptions about how vile and aggressive glioblastoma is. Things like:
"Average survival can range from less than a year for very advanced and aggressive types — such as glioblastomas..." (MSNBC)
"A glioblastoma is the most common brain tumor that affects adults. It is also the most rapidly growing, malignant tumor of the brain with the shortest survival. Death may occur within months. 'It’s the most malignant, the most aggressive, the tumor of the brain associated with the shortest survival,' said Marc Chamberlain, a professor of neurology and director of the Brain Tumor Program at University of Washington, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance." (Fox News)
"Average survival can range from three to five years for moderately severe malignant gliomas to less than a year for very advanced and aggressive types such as glioblastomas." (CNN)
There is a different spin, however:
"Glioblastoma is pretty darn serious, and needs a lot of medical attention and prayer. It's like a sixteen-year-old getting their first driver's license. A year later some might be dead, while some might be working on their next karate belt and hoping for another shot at a Messiah solo. There are wonderful treatments that work to preserve both life and quality of life, and we should support the research that brings us these treatments (and hopefully a cure someday). Average side effects of glioblastoma include increased perspective, diminished pettiness, and a swelling of faith." (ME)
Just to clear the air, I am a staunch Texas conservative and superfan of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. When it comes to politics, Senator Kennedy and I are diametrically opposed. But we are both children of the same God, and now we are both survivors with something serious on (what's left of) our minds. I wish him all the best, and pray that he and his family will have all that they need right now. I am sure many are praying for him, and I hope he feels the strengthening support of those prayers, as I have felt.