Some of the feedback I have gotten for the disease treatment graph here
is that some patients may see this and get really depressed. I realize that’s a possibility but my intent is to show the various treatments available, certainly not to make anyone depressed.
In that light, I have been talking with a few long term brain cancer survivors and I want to them to tell their story. I will link their stories to the cancer treatments graph because it’s important for people to have hope and positive outlook. I hope these long term survivors will be beacons of hope for all the patients out there.
I have lost relatives and friends to cancer. I want to help everyone who has fallen ill and empower them with knowledge of available treatment options so that they can discuss with their doctors the full range of options and make informed decisions about their health.
Here’s how it all got started.
Flash back to October 2006, it was just a typical day in the office; I was working away when the phone rang. My close ex-girl friend living in CA was on the other side. We had broken up since I moved away, but we spoke often. She didn’t have good news. She had been having major headaches and finally decided to go to the doctor. She was diagnosed with Glioblastoma, a serious and unfortunately very common form of primary brain cancer. Her family was local to help her, but I wanted to do what I could. As an engineer, I am trained to think logically and approach problems systematically. I went straight to the medical literature to read about the available treatment options out there. It was a long and difficult process to try to understand the medical jargon, not to mention pay-walls of medical journals. Luckily I found great resources in Musella.org about brain cancer and leveraged the information on there. Still, the process was difficult.
A few years later, a close friend fell ill to stomach cancer shortly after our trip to china together. It was unexpected. I went through the same process again.
When I search online, I often see the same general information about cancer treatments, surgery, radiation and chemo. But I rarely find concrete information about how patients perform under the those treatments. How are patients supposed to make educated decisions without information about potential effectiveness, outcome, side effects?
With a lot of help from the medical and patient community, I hope to gather treatment options for all the life changing and chronic diseases out there, so that we can all benefit from this knowledge.