Kendra Renner

My 53-year-old dad was diagnosed with an Anaplastic Astrocytoma in March of 2012.

One Sunday morning of January of last year, my dad had a seizure after a shower in our bathroom. He was unconscious for an hour before he awoke and realized that his leg was stuck to our heater in the bathroom. My mom and him went to the doctor and he was diagnosed with what they thought was a low grade glioma on his right frontal lobe on January 16, 2012. That's when they called me at college to tell me. My dad said there "is a little tumor on my brain honey". It was my first day of school at a new college so through that semester I had a hard time keeping my grades up because my mind was completely in another place. Luckily for us we live in Iowa where the University of Iowa Hospital is located and is a great institution. First he got skin graft surgery to repair the third degree burn on his leg. The doctors had to wait to operate to remove his tumor until his leg was fully healed which was painful to watch because my dad felt like crap all the time and did nothing but lay on the couch. To top it off, he had a seizure at his workplace. That is when we emailed the surgeon and asked if there was ANY way we could get the surgery date moved up. Two days later he emailed back saying there was a cancellation so yes, that could be possible. I swear God was at work there. The tumor was successfully removed on March 6th, 2012. My dad stayed in the ICU for 3 days because he began seizing immediately after surgery. Unfortunately, the results of the tumor came back as a grade 3 astrocytoma. All through his hospital stay he remained positive and motivated. His mom, dad, and sister have all had cancer so he was willing to put up a fight. My dad had to go to rehabilitation for 2 weeks for his left side because it wasn't as functional as his right after surgery. After he came home, my parents wanted to get multiple opinions on what to do next, so they went to a Cancer Treatment Center of America in Zion, IL. All places recommend that he do radiation and chemo at the same time. He complete his treatment in December of 2012. He will continue to have 3-month MRIs. Through all this he has continued to work part-time to keep our insurance. Through it all he has been so amazing and positive. I literally cannot even put into words how well he has handled everything. 2012 has come and gone and we cannot believe everything we've been through in a short amount of time. My dad is truly an inspiration and my brother, mom, and I love him to pieces.