The Story of Claudio and his fight against Glioblastoma

7 February 2021 1 By Roberto Pugliese

Today is February 6 and Emanuele would have turned 23. Today Claudio told me the story of him that I report below. Reading this story makes me feel good because it is that of a person who has defeated glioblastoma and can dare hope and strength to many of you who are fighting against this pathology.

I am Claudio, I was born in April 1973 and I am a street vendor, maybe you have met me in some square of your city and you have not imagined that this story was hidden behind my face.

It was September 30th 2016 and I was on my way to pick up my daughter from school. Facing a roundabout, I suddenly found myself in front of a vehicle that apparently was traveling in the opposite direction, I was able to brake abruptly avoiding the accident but I did not remember what had happened … as if I had had a moment of blackout, a memory lapse …

My daughter asked me what had happened and I didn’t know what to say. Back home I talked to my wife Serena and she very worried accompanied me to the emergency department of the Careggi hospital. I was immediately discharged with a diagnosis of transient global amnesia, with a prescription to take 1 tablet of zanax. Serena was not satisfied so we insisted that our family doctor prescribe a brain CT scan. On 6 October we went for the exam and the radiologist immediately invited us to go to the emergency department. From there I was immediately hospitalized in the neurosurgery department at the CTO of Florence directed by Franco Ammanati and on October 10th I was operated on by Prof. Lorenzo Bordi. It was a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).

On December 14th I started chemotherapy with temozolomide and radiotherapy radiotherapy with RapidArc or VMAT (Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy) technique which is a sophisticated, very precise and accurate radiotherapy, effective on cancer and non-invasive on healthy tissues. The left frontal lesion was treated with a total fractional dose of 60gy in 30 2-gy fractions. The treatment was guided by a ConeBeamTC acquired before the treatment session and calibrated with the centering CT. I tolerated the treatment very well and from there I began to undergo MRIs with contrast medium every 3 months. I also thank the oncologist Dr. Scoccianti who followed me with chemotherapy.

Things went well. I remember that after the operation I no longer understood anything, I did not remember the things that happened to me. The doctors told me that after a few months these ailments would go away. And so it was. I had a hard time with my wife and daughter who was scared and she didn’t know what was happening to her dad. I was also followed by a psycho-oncologist because after reading what glioblastoma was I could not manage the situation. Today I am fine and I realize that I was lucky. So I decided to share my story to give everyone hope!

I am happy to have reported Claudio’s story because like Cristina’s story it is an Italian story. Often the survivor stories are set in other countries. These are important stories but many of you then imagine that in Italy it is different. Well, even in Italy there are several survivors. Come on then, let’s keep fighting!