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. We celebrated life and our anniversary by traveling to Kauai. We realize that this is not the norm and are grateful for every moment we share together. 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 two years of coping with GBM, Sandy continues to encourage glioblastoma patients and their caregivers to keep moving and to live each day without regrets. She shares family and travel highlights along with a couple of Ira’s TV interviews broadcasted to coincide with GBM Awareness Day.
After reading Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds and CURED: The Life-Changing Science of Spontaneous Healing, I looked for more information regarding the connection between one’s thoughts and one’s health. I came across Dr. Bruce Lipton’s research and share what I learned in this story.
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 Ira’s 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 her post-diagnosis menus.
After Ira’s diagnosis, Sandy realized that food was an important aspect of the healing process. But, what should Ira eat? And did food make a difference. The Living Kitchen and Cancer-Fighting Kitchen are excellent resources. Read this story to find out why.
Luckily, fresh seafood is part of Ira’s nutrient-dense diet. The Florida coast has an abundance. During a mid-April, 2021 getaway, The Traveling Bornsteins tested out eating a healthy diet while traveling to a coastal region.
Yes, you can maintain a healthy diet while on a ski trip. It is possible to avoid burger and pizza.
This luxury dude ranch accommodated our dietary needs while Ira was undergoing chemo treatments.
What have researchers discovered about glioblastoma patients who remain physically active after diagnosis? Read this post to find out.
Can you travel with glioblastoma? In many instances, the answer is yes. Since the response is dependent on many factors, glioblastoma patients and caregivers should seek medical advice for the answer to this question. Sandy shares some of her travel experiences in this round up style story.
Sandy provides a brief overview of Jerusalem, Hebron, Tzfat, Golan, Sderot, the ANU Museum of the Jewish People, and Makhtesh Ramon in the Negev in this Wander Magazine story.
After four trips to Israel, Sandy showcases the amazing geography of this small country. From a waterfall in the north to the Mediterranean coastal regions to the Negev Desert in the south, Israel will appeal to most travelers.
What is the best way to visit multiple cities within a short period of time? An immersion cruise is a great option for coastal ports. Sandy shares what she learned during an Azamara cruise.
While the travel industry suffered greatly during the pandemic, cruise travel ground to a halt. Convincing people to return to sailing was not easy. In this story, Sandy shares her experiences aboard a December 2021 Celebrity Apex sailing.
It is possible for a percentage of glioblastoma patients to safely travel. In this story, I raise many questions and offer an abundance of tips to help guide you through the process of planning a memorable trip.
After receiving Ira’s diagnosis in July 2020, it was impossible to imagine traveling. Once it became apparent that Ira was strong enough to travel, I started planning. This story provides an overview of our active adventures.
At the end of 2021, I share more information about our 2021 travel experiences. If you love to travel, try not to let a glioblastoma diagnosis stand in your way to learning more about the world.
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 our 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.