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Friday, October 10, 2008

It’s almost unfair to my loved ones: A brain tumor support group

Jeffrey Schanz of Washington, DC is an 11-year survivor of a glioblastoma. After treatment, he was able to return to his high-pressure job with the U.S. Department of Justice as director of the Office of Policy and Planning within the Audit Division. He recently accepted a new job as inspector general of the Legal Services Corporation, which provides legal assistance to low-income people.

Jeffrey, age 56, runs a support group at the George Washington Cancer Institute in Washington, DC. Support group members share nutrition and exercise tips, information about alternative therapies, and humor.

Attending a support group helps him deal with the ups and downs of his recovery. Though his thinking is about the same as it was before the brain tumor, “not every day is a good day….There have been cases where I’ve had to be more deductive to figure out what was going on instead of just snapping my fingers and going, ‘Oh, yeah, I understand that...' In the brain-tumor world we call it a ‘new normal’ because you’re never going to be the same person," he says.

He understands the need for camaraderie. “It’s almost unfair to my loved ones,” he says, “but I’m more comfortable with brain-tumor survivors because we all know what we’ve gone through. It’s still hard to articulate how hard you have to fight.”

Advice to people with a brain tumor: Find a support group to participate in.

Read another brain tumor story.

Thanks to Stephanie Cajigal for the source story in the September/October issue of Neurology Now.

1 comment:

caregiver said...

Wishing all the good luck to Jeffrey