I got my test results back this morning and the news was good but not spectacular. I was diagnosed with a grade 3 astrocytoma tumor. For those of you who are unfamiliar with tumors. The grade of the tumor indicates the severity. The most aggressive and dangerous tumors are typically grade 4 tumors.
The most important thing to hear as far as I was concerned was that the tumor was not what is called metastatic. This means that the tumor originated in my brain and did not spread from another location. It also means that that the probability of this tumor spreading to another part of by body is unlikely. The bad news is that this is considered a fairly aggressive tumor. The good news is that while it is an aggressive tumor it is relatively slow growing and my doctor feels that he got all of it during surgery.
I will have to undergo some secondary treatment. This is not entirely unexpected. I will have to undergo chemo therapy as well as radiation therapy. While surgery may have been the riskiest part of my treatment, this will be the most difficult.
My doctor and I talked about a lot of things, but what was most important is what we did not have to talk about. I am dealing with something that is difficult but we did not have to talk about "how much time I have." That's because I can, and will come through this just fine. My doctor has dealt with more severe tumors than this and his patients usually survive.
The timeline we did discuss was how long it might be before I am able to get back to school. He thinks that I will be able to resume spring classes. He anticipates that I will be able to choose if I feel I am ready to resume.
Unfortunately discussing this is a little difficult for me right now so I don't want to talk about it over the phone. It makes me sound like I am having a much harder time with this than I really am.
I told members of my family that I didn't take too much time to wonder why this happened to me. The answer has always been obvious. This happened to me because I can take it. With the overwhelming support everyone has shown me throughout this experience, I am only convinced further that we can take it.