This is the blog page of Cassandra Bennett. Wife to Daniel, Mother to James & Julian, slave to Mimi (the family cat).
On 23 July 2018 I was diagnosed with a Stage II Diffuse Astrocytoma (Do not ‘Google’ it), a slower growing form of Brain Cancer. This website has been set up to provide updates to our friends and family and to share some of this experience. The life expectancy after diagnosis for patients with this type of tumour is around 10 years. So while I am not facing my immediate demise, we are working with some very sobering long term survival statistics.
In early August 2018 I underwent a subtotal resection that removed approximately 30% of the tumour. The remaining tumour has infiltrated the left medial temporal lobe and the para hippocampal region. In November 2018 I started a 12-month course of chemotherapy. Due to the size and diffuse nature of the disease we took a reasonably aggressive approach to chemotherapy. My current chemo schedule is 21 days on and 7 days off.
The (sobering) Statistics
The Cure Brain Cancer website provides some statistics. I have elected to not restate them all here, but the key message is that Brain Cancer kills more children and young adults under 40 than any other cancer – and the survival statistics have not changed in more than 30 years.
So while it sounds all doom and gloom, I think it is worth noting that there has been a huge investment into Brain Cancer Research in the past few years – and with that, some very ambitious targets set. I am hopeful that with a renewed push into Brain Cancer Research my chances, and the changes of other Brain Cancer patients, of living a long a productive life could be dramatically increased.
I hope that through this website, you will be able to keep up with my treatment, but also learn more about this disease and about ways you could help support the entire Brain Cancer community.