The Story of Anna’s Dad

In recent days I received an email from Anna in which she tells the story of her father that she wants to share. This struck me because of the spirit that motivated Anna and the importance of sharing and not feeling alone when the whole family finds itself having to face this situation. And so here is the story of Anna’s father told by Anna…

I want to share with you the touching story of my father, a 61 year old man. I resort to this narrative because I too, like many, seek comfort in listening to the stories of others.

On May 14, 2022, it all started with a sudden headache in the morning, followed by an epileptic episode affecting her right arm in the afternoon. We called the emergency room who took him to the hospital, where the doctors diagnosed a brain tumor requiring further investigation via MRI. We wasted no time, and the following day, we paid to have the exam done immediately. Shortly thereafter, the diagnosis arrived like a boulder: stage four glioblastoma. Looking at the images, it looked like a walnut located in the left fronto-parietal area of his brain.

In just ten days, everything was organized and my father underwent surgery at the neurosurgery department in Verona. The mass removal was confirmed to be a grade four glioblastoma, one of the most aggressive and ruthless forms of cancer known. My father subsequently underwent thirty sessions of radiotherapy and cycles of chemotherapy with temozolomide. Despite the adversities and predictable physical reactions to the treatment, we did not give up.

My father had lost almost all mobility in half of his body, and the doctors told us that he would be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. But we didn’t give up: we dedicated ourselves with determination to the physiotherapy sessions. After almost three months in hospital, my brave dad started moving, first with the help of a four-wheeled walker, then with a simple cane.

We did our best to continue chemotherapy and physical therapy after he returned home, performing MRI checks every three months. In September 2023, a check-up revealed a new small mass where she had previously been operated on. We performed a PET-CT which confirmed the recurrence of the tumor. The neuro-oncologists immediately took care of us, proposing a new surgery to remove the mass, followed by other cycles of chemo.

I know how difficult it is: life has changed and every day is a battle, but the watchword has always been STRENGTH. Being at the patient’s side, offering comfort and support. My dad is fighting like a lion, partly thanks to the strength he receives from the support of his family. It’s true, sometimes I feel helpless, but I can’t help but rely on medical experts and arm myself with patience and courage.

As the old saying goes, “hope dies last”. Therefore, let us never stop hoping, letting ourselves cry when necessary, but always finding a way to move forward. Now we are preparing to start a new battle, hoping that everything proceeds as it should.