Monday, June 27, 2022
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Humberto De Santiago (Brain Cancer Survivor)

Humberto De Santiago (Brain Cancer Survivor)

Symptoms & Diagnosis

My name is Humberto De Santiago, and I am a two-time brain cancer survivor. Initially, I noticed that I was experiencing stomach-aches and headaches during baseball practice at school. My family took me to the doctor, who said that it was probably just stress. The second time was a couple of weeks after I graduated from Cal State University of Fullerton, when my doctor found me pale and vomiting. After another trip to the doctor and tests in the hospital, they discovered a tumor in my brain and scheduled surgery immediately. I underwent radiation therapy and chemotherapy as part of the treatment process.

I enjoy playing sports such as baseball, football and basketball whenever possible while spending time with family at home or out on road trips with friends! Initially, I thought it was just a stomach ache and went to see a doctor who prescribed me some medications that had no effect on my condition. Some days later, I woke up with headaches and nausea in the morning. At this point, it was clear that something was wrong with me so we decided to go to the hospital where they did an MRI scan which revealed that there were two tumors inside my brain. After this discovery, doctors recommended surgery because it could save my life even though they knew there would be repercussions due to radiation therapy which they gave me before surgery.

Side Effects & Challenges

When I was diagnosed with brain cancer, I had to take different medications. There were times when the side effects were so severe that I had to take breaks from my daily routine and go back to bed. The medications used to treat brain cancer are usually very strong and have many side effects. These side effects include nausea, vomiting, hair loss, fatigue, headaches etc. Some patients also experience neurocognitive symptoms such as memory loss and confusion which can be very difficult to manage especially if you are already suffering from mental health issues.

Apart from dealing with side effects, one of the biggest challenges is finding a doctor who understands how hard it is for someone who has just been diagnosed with brain cancer and they do not want to rush into treatment options without considering other options first such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy instead of surgery because these treatments have their own set of risks as well as benefits associated with them too! The main side effect was hair loss. For me, it was very difficult to cope with this condition because I have a big family and they are used to seeing me with my hair on my head rather than on my shoulder or in a bag. My family had been really supportive during this time and she kept telling me that everything would be fine and that we would find a way to deal with this situation.

The side effects of brain cancer were very hard for me to deal with. On top of that, I was also suffering from hair loss and had lost my sense of taste and smell. I was having difficulty speaking and swallowing food. I also developed tinnitus which is a ringing sound in one’s ear. These side effects made it difficult for me to perform my daily routine tasks such as driving and working out at the gym. Since I could not drive due to these symptoms, it forced me to take up something which involved sitting down all day long which was not good for my health either because it would cause more problems such as back pain or stiffness in the neck region due to posture issues caused by sitting down all day long without taking breaks every hour or two minutes when needed during work hours.”

Support System & Caregiver

I would like to thank my doctors and family who were there to support me at every stage of my treatment. So, finally as I am fully recovered from the brain cancer, it’s because of these people. I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer, called glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). It was a shock to me and my family as we never expected this would happen to me. But, after a few days of thinking about it, I realized that what matters most is not what happened but how I am going to handle this situation.

We knew that GBM was very treatable if caught early; however, since it took us several months to figure out what was wrong with me due to the fact that the symptoms were so unusual for a younger person like myself, I lost valuable time in which the tumor could have been shrunken by surgery or radiation therapy. As a result, I had surgery followed by six weeks of radiation therapy which left me exhausted but hopeful for recovery. However, despite this treatment my scans showed that the tumor had returned within two months after treatment was concluded causing even more concern for everyone involved including myself! At this point we decided on chemotherapy.

They have done everything for me, from providing treatment to providing emotional support. They were always there for me whenever I needed them. Moreover, they helped me a lot by taking care of my family so that I could focus on my recovery process. During my treatment, I had a lot of questions related to my health condition, medicines and other issues. So, they helped me by answering all my questions with patience. They also helped me by providing guidance on what I should eat and drink during recovery time after surgery. My family members were always there for me when I needed someone to talk to or just sit with me while watching TV or doing something fun together. They also made sure that I was eating healthy food items which are good for my overall health and also helped me by taking care of other house chores so that I had more time for myself during the recovery period after surgery. I would like to thank everyone who stood by me in this difficult time and supported me throughout this journey from day one till date!

Post Cancer & Future Goal

I’m finally back to my normal self. I’ve been through a lot and I’m just so happy to be here, to be with my family, and to be able to enjoy life again. I feel like I’ve had a second chance at life, and I want to make sure that nothing harms my peace of mind or body in any way. In case of long-term issues or anything, I would like everything to have full control over. From regular check-ups to therapies, I want everything done on time so that I can live a healthy life. My family is everything. They are always there for me when things get tough, and I couldn’t ask for anything more from them. They have supported me throughout all of this time, and now it’s time for me to give back by spending quality time with them—not just because they deserve it but also because it’s what makes me happy!

I’ve been through a lot in the past year. I’ve had to battle cancer and face a lot of uncertainty about my future. But I’m finally feeling healthy again, and looking forward to getting back to living my life.

Some Lessons That I Learned

Side effects are things that happen when you take part in a treatment or procedure. They can be good or bad, but they should go away once you stop having treatment. The most common side effect that happens after surgery is nausea, which means feeling sick to your stomach and throwing up. Other common side effects include headaches, fatigue (feeling tired), and a loss of appetite.

When I was first diagnosed, one of the biggest challenges was finding the right treatment. There are a lot of different types of brain cancer and each one has its own unique set of symptoms and side effects. Finding the right treatment for me meant doing lots of research and talking to my doctor about what worked best for other patients who’d been through what I was going through. Another challenge was staying positive during treatment. My doctors told me that there would be ups and downs throughout the process, but it wasn’t always easy to stay positive when things got tough—especially during radiation treatments where I had to wear an uncomfortable mask on my face for hours at a time every day! But staying positive helped me get through all those hard times. If you have any questions about your symptoms or how to manage them, talk to your doctor or nurse about them. They will be able to help you figure out what’s causing the symptoms and how to treat them so that they go away or get better.

Parting Message

As a brain cancer survivor myself, I know how difficult it can be. But I also know how important it is to stay positive and keep pushing forward. Remember that you are not alone—there are many people out there who have gone through similar experiences and come out stronger on the other side. You are strong enough to beat this! I’m not going to lie: it has been a difficult time for me. But in some ways, it’s also been one of the best moments of my life. I’ve learned so much about myself, and I’ve had the chance to meet some truly inspiring people. I’m so grateful for those experiences—and for all of your love and support during this difficult time.

As many of you know, my cancer was discovered during a routine MRI scan after years of health issues that no one could explain or treat. The doctors told me that the tumor was very large, which meant surgery might not be possible—but if we could remove it safely via craniotomy, then there was a good chance that I would recover fully from surgery (though there was still a risk that radiation therapy would be necessary). After several weeks of waiting while they attempted various treatments to shrink the tumor before surgery could proceed without damaging my brain further (which did not work), we decided on radiation therapy as our next best option.

If you feel like giving up, take a deep breath and think about all of the positive things that have happened in your life so far. They say that YOU are strong enough to get through anything! I also want to say thank you for being part of something bigger than yourself: for making an impact on the world with your kindness and generosity by supporting those affected by brain cancer. You CAN do this! You ARE strong enough! Keep fighting!

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