The Story of Bruno

We are in the height of summer, the holidays period, even more difficult for those who have a glioblastoma multiforme because they have to wait for the doctors to return from their holidays and at the same time, with growing concerns, try to spend a peaceful time with relatives and friends. This is why I am very happy to tell you the story of Bruno that I have known for some time. Bruno is an extraordinary person. You will understand it too by reading the story of him that I report in full.

“Never a symptom, Never an illness. I was 26 and we decided to take an overseas vacation.

The biggest concern was about the long duration of the trip because I always suffered from “Aerial Headache” which destroyed me physically. So I decided to move in advance by talking to my doctor and asking him to prescribe me some sort of sleeping pill or whatever would make me relax to get through the trip easily. The doctor told me that it was a form of hypertension that affected many people and at a certain altitude resulted in an increase in pressure inside the skull, causing headaches. To be safe, he decided to prescribe an MRI which I did about the next week.

A bolt from the blue. When I left the room they asked me how I was and what I was aware of. Obviously I wasn’t understanding. In short, they told me that an altered signal area with a diameter of 4 cm was found at the left temporo-polar level.

In July 2015 I was operated on at the Padua hospital using the “Awake Surgery” methodology as it was a mass localized in the area of ​​language and understanding.

The recovery was long but the histological examinations were at least partially positive. It was an oligodendroglioma (WHO grade II) with a surgical result of total resection.

So everything re-started again after some time and effort: understanding, talking, resuming physical activity, working, traveling overseas as decided the previous year and also planning new events. Obviously always remaining under control being subject to quarterly RMN to keep everything well monitored.

In January 2018 I was 29 and the bolt from the blue reappeared.

After the resonance, the radiologist stopped me and explained that she had noticed the presence of a small mass but of a different “shape” from the previous one. In practice, I was faced with a rapidly expanding recurrence which therefore had to be operated on as soon as possible. In March 2018 I was then operated on at the Bufalini hospital in Cesena, with the same methodology used in the previous surgery.

This time, however, the mass was malignant and deep. The histological examination was worse than the previous one: Glioblastoma (IV degree WHO) with partial resection surgical outcome.

At the beginning of May the therapeutic scheme of the Stupp Protocol (combination of CHT with Temozolomide x 42 days + concomitant RT x 30 sessions) started and ended in mid-June. Then resumed in mid-July the 12 cycles of TMZ that ended in May 2019.

Year 2018 was definitely a year full of emotions. My luck was that Glioblastoma came along with a series of positive events that led me to joys and smiles rather than bad moods and depressions.

In the weekend preceding the surgery, my girlfriend and I discussed the effects of the therapies and the risks on the possibilities of fertilization. However, we decided to give it a try with the knowledge that it was better not to have any expectations. A month later we burst into tears of happiness: at the end of the year there would be three of us!

And at the beginning of July, three days after also finishing the cortisone cycle, the event we had planned for over a year arrived. We had thought a couple of times of canceling it or postponing it but in the end, just evaluating the meaning of what we were doing, on July 7th came the wedding of two people physically exhausted but with great determination, joy, satisfaction and the support of friends and family members who have always supported us.

And again, after a few days the oncologist calls us and announces that he has received the result still missing from the various reports on the methylation status of my glioblastoma: MGMT status 48% methylated. A high percentage which means that the chemotherapeutic treatment would have had a significant effect and a positive effect on life expectancy. And even this event made us cry for joy for all the meaning it carried with it.

And here we are in August 2021. I continue to inform and keep myself updated on research developments, aware that it could return but with the hope that this does not happen. I end my story with a big thank you to all those who follow me and the other patients who unfortunately live or have lived the experience of having a multiform glioblastoma … or as I call it, the bastard inside them. Thanks therefore to the Oncologists, Radiologists, Speech therapists, Neurologists, Neurosurgeons and Neuropsychologists. “

And what about Bruno, thanks to you too for sharing this story that gives strength to all those who are fighting against glioblastoma!