Nothing can prepare you for when a loved one is given a terminal cancer diagnosis. In an instant, your life changes.
The same was true for Becky Schenck and her family. She was told she had terminal brain cancer, glioblastoma multiforme, and that she most likely had around a year to live.
Taking Action after a Terminal Cancer Diagnosis
In Becky’s case, the decisions she and her family made in the three weeks following the diagnosis resulted in Becky living ten years.
Below, Becky’s husband, Steve Schenck, shares the family’s early actions that they credit for giving them ten wonderful, additional years with Becky.
Turning to Faith and Family
When Becky was given her diagnosis, the Schenck family’s first response was to turn to their faith and their love of God. The family gathered together and committed to one another that faith, family, and friends would continue to guide everything that followed.
Becoming Your Loved One’s Advocate
Writing down important information: Receiving a terminal diagnosis is incredibly stressful and overwhelming. The patient and family are often in a state of shock at a time when they are receiving important information about treatment options. One thing you can do during this stressful time is take notes.
Finding the best care: When Becky was given her terminal cancer diagnosis, the Schenck family’s goal was to find the best brain surgeon, hospital, nuero-oncologist and trial drug for Becky’s specific brain cancer. They were fortunate that they had two doctor friends who helped them do their research, and together, they chose the path for surgery and treatment.
For those of you in a similar situation, consider talking to your family doctor or conducting online research to find the best possible care available for your loved one’s specific diagnosis.
Looking into clinical trials: If appropriate, being in a clinical trial is critical to treatment. Given the grim diagnosis for glioblastoma multiforme with traditional chemotherapy, trying a potentially new drug gives the patient and family hope. For the Schenck family, this was the case, and Becky participated in a clinical trial through Eli Lilly. There are many hospital and neuro-oncologists that are conducting research specific to brain cancer.
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