In July 2020, our lives were turned upside down when Ira was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an incurable brain cancer. Suddenly, we were faced with an overwhelming number of decisions, many of which had to be made quickly.
After more than 45 years of marriage, Ira relied on me to do the required research and present our options. As we contemplated our next steps, we had to be mindful of the ramifications of the pandemic. Was it safe to travel to another state for second opinions, brain surgery or Standard of Care treatments?
After meeting with Dr. Kevin Lillehei, the chair of Neurosurgery, and the neuro-oncology team (Dr. Douglas Ney and Dr. Chad Rusthoven) at the University of Colorado Hospital, Ira felt it was in his best interest to remain in Colorado. His craniotomy, six weeks of chemo/radiation, and six months of chemo treatments did not mandate out-of-state treatments.
Throughout the first year, we arranged video chats with second opinion doctors at several out of state hospitals as well as with a well known nutritionist who specializes in cancer protocols and a local naturopath with a specialty in oncology. I continued to research options and tweak our lifestyle modifications.
We remain grateful that Ira’s day-to-day life has yet to be significantly impacted by the brain cancer or the treatments. While undergoing chemo, he was able to ski more than 20 times, snowshoe at altitude, go horseback riding in the snow, and swim in the Gulf of Mexico as well as the waters off of the Hawaiian Islands. We realize that this is not the norm. Most glioblastoma patients are unable to return to an active lifestyle after surgery and treatments.
On this page, I plan to share our experiences and what we are learning as our journey unfolds. Ira’s determination to beat the odds will hopefully inspire others to embrace life instead of their cancer diagnosis. #EmbraceLifeDefeatGlio
Resources and Tips
After Ira was diagnosed with glioblastoma, he was certain he could beat the odds. To learn more about the people who survived terminal cancer, Sandy read Kelly Turner’s book, Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds and now shares what she learned.
To bring attention to Glioblastoma, Sandy highlights their ability to embrace life after a glio diagnosis.
Sandy shares what she learned after reading Dr. Li’s Eat to Beat Disease. She incorporated many of his ideas into the post-diagnosis menus.
After Ira’s diagnosis, Sandy was overwhelmed. She faced one unanswered question. What should Ira eat? And did food make a difference. The Living Kitchen and Cancer-Fighting Kitchen are excellent resources.
Luckily, fresh seafood is part of Ira’s nutrient-dense diet. The Florida coast has an abundance.
Yes, you can maintain a healthy diet while on a ski trip. You can eat more than burger and pizza.
This luxury dude ranch accommodated our dietary needs while Ira was undergoing chemo treatments.
To add diversity to our travel schedule, we spent several days at this wellness resort. After going outside our comfort zones and trying aerial yoga, we are hooked on the concept. We can’t wait for our next wellness journey.
To celebrate their 46th wedding anniversary and life, Sandy and Ira explored Kauai.
A late spring getaway took us to romantic and picturesque Captiva Island.
Can you believe that until spring 2021, I had never skied at Vail? Thanks to a media trip hosted by the Grand Hyatt Vail, Ira and I explored this amazing terrain and our youngest son, Jordan, led the way to the famous back bowls.
While Ira was undergoing chemo, we went horseback riding, snowshoeing, and learned archery at Vista Verde Ranch, a luxury dude ranch near Steamboat, Colorado.
Glioblastoma and chemo did not stop Ira from skiing more than 20 times with glioblastoma in 2021. We began this milestone on New Year’s.