Coming to Terms With a Brain Cancer Diagnosis

First published November 13, 2011 –

This is part one in a two-part post on the Morton family’s experience with brain cancer.

Infographic: Katie Swanson; Sources listed within

No cancer diagnosis is okay. The unknown is scary, and, well, unknown. From what is actually wrong, to what is going to happen in the future is an arduous process.

I say this from a family member’s perspective; from a friend’s perspective.

Deb Morton had to go through that as a wife, a best friend. As a professional in the healthcare field, even she didn’t know then how serious her husband’s problems were. She spoke with me about the beginning stages of her husband’s diagnosis, from her perspective.

Brain cancer is not as common as other forms of cancer, but the majority of brain cancers are what John Morton had: Glioblastoma Multiform. GBM, as it as known, is the most common, and most fatal, of diagnoses.

It seems that brain cancer receives an adequate amount of funding, compared to other prevalent cancers such as lung cancer, that don’t receive as much funding. Although, with this funding, the prognosis for the most common form of brain cancer hasn’t changed in two decades, and that prognosis is nearly fatal. That’s not good enough.

Deb said that John Morton happily volunteered himself for clinical trials, no matter how extreme. Whether it benefited him or not, he wanted to help. Could awareness for brain cancer, like breast cancer, help? Could more funding fuel more trials and more cures?