The Big picture…

The Big Picture

Australian Cancer Research Foundation

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Getting our lives back on track

March 11, 2014

“My son, Robert was diagnosed with a primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma in September 2011, but his battle began many months before that.

“He was having trouble with his eyesight and memory, and struggling with depression and severe headaches. He lost his job because of his short term memory problems.

“A trip to the ophthalmologist led to an MRI which indicated Rob had a tumour on his brain.

“Without treatment he was told he would only have weeks to live but his surgeon was reluctant to operate, given the position of the tumour. I can’t begin to describe how I felt – I cried myself to sleep for many nights. It was devastating to watch my previously fit, healthy son, at just 30 years old deteriorate before our eyes. The tumour had already affected his right eye and his mobility. To a stranger he almost appeared to be drunk. He looked as though he had had a stroke.

“The day of the surgery was the longest day of my life.

“Rob was given a very good chance of recovery. The biggest things in his favour were his age and fitness. But nothing really prepares you for the heartache of watching your child battle this disease.

“He had seven months of treatment: six rounds of chemotherapy, 13 days of radiation, then another two rounds of chemotherapy.  And yet throughout all of this, he rarely complained. He was so grateful to all the hospital staff, and always felt that other people had it worse than him.

“Rob is now in remission, and we are all so grateful that he has been given a second chance.  He still struggles with his memory but now that the treatment is over he is working to get his life back together.

“One question stays with him though – he wants to know what might have caused this tumour? No-one can answer this question.

“For me, I adhere to the saying that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.  If we can find some of the causes of cancer we will be in a better position to prevent it. That is why I am such a strong advocate for the ACRF and for cancer research. I am so grateful to count my son as a cancer survivor.”

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