I am the girlfriend/support system cheerleader for my 32-year old boyfriend who was diagnosed in September with Anaplastic Astrocytoma Stage IIIB. Within a couple of days of his diagnosis, he was flat on his back in the operating room getting surgery. The good news is that the surgeon was able to get all of the tumor. The surgery went well albeit with some of the normal consequences of such a surgery such as confusion, slurred speech, etc. He began an aggressive course of radiation treatments within a week to ten days after surgery. He completed those in October.
In early December, he began to have headaches and nosebleeds that were reminiscent of the early symptomology of what he suffered before the tumor was originally diagnosed. His onc and neurologist decided to take an aggressive diagnosis evaluation period. A number of tests later (included the MRI) seemed inconclusive. Something was causing swelling in his head, but we didn't know what. When he failed to respond to a five-day antibiotic course, the doctor said opening him up again was really the only option. When they went in last week, they found that tumor growth had begun over the scarring tissue. It had also started to grow near the back of his optic nerve which was contributing to some of his own symptoms (blurry vision, dizziness, etc.)
I'm sharing this all with you because the doctor told my boyfriend that he has five to seven months to live. He's devastated. I am a firm believer that no human being comes with an expiration date stamped on their feet. Right now, our support base is very small. I'm hoping if anyone has had any similar experiences to this and beat the odds (like I know I've seen some of the other stories shared in the forum), they would share them. I'd like to show them to him with the goal of getting him to believe it's okay to have hope and that a positive attitude is the key to beating this because he is at the stage where he thinks he's living on borrowed time and that nothing can be done so he just wants to give up.
At this current point in time, my goals are trying to help him deal with his overwhelming feelings of despair and negativity, getting him connected to people who have been through things like he's been through so he knows he isn't alone, and then pursuing a second opinion.
Any advice, comments, or even random thoughts would mean so much to me, especially anyone who has dealt with recurrent Astrocytoma and can offer any insights.