I started battling grade 4 glioblastoma at the age of 18. 3 brain tumors, 1 brain surgery, 53 sessions of radiation, 5 different chemotherapies, and over 1 year of physical therapy. Still battling and still smiling.

Proof: https://www.facebook.com/Prayers4Richie/

Comments: 96 • Responses: 42  • Date: 

TP9522 karma

Dude, where are located? I was diagnosed with an inoperable Grade 3 Anaplastic Astrocytoma in 2015 at the age of 20. If you ever feel like talking with someone your own age that is going through a similar situation with brain cancer, please do not hessite to get in touch!! Much love brother

onemanbandjo8 karma

Thanks so much. One tumor was in the middle of the brain but shifted to the right. It wasn't operated on but it's gone! Tumor #2 is on the right side of the brain, about 1-2 inches above the temple but deeper in the brain. Tumor #3 is on the left side and like tumor #2 but on the left.

Samuraiprincesa20 karma

What symptoms led you to go to the doctor when you got diagnosed?

onemanbandjo29 karma

I knew I had two tumors in my brain two years before I had surgery, but the doctors hadn't been worried until 2012 when they started to grow. Most of my symptoms were migraines, loss of feeling in my left side of my body, seizures, and mental fogginess.

Samuraiprincesa10 karma

How did you find out that you had those tumors in the first place though? Was it routine or did something happen to make you go have it checked out?

onemanbandjo10 karma

I kept failing a peripherals test (I don't have left peripheral vision) So, I was to get an MRI. Then, 2 tumors were found.

darkknightwing41711 karma

Wow... That's a lot to deal with so young.

My mom was recently diagnosed with breast cancer... I just wanna know what keeps you going every day? I'm worried for her and I want to do my best to keep her happy but I have no idea what to even say at this point.

onemanbandjo16 karma

The best thing to do is just keep her happy however you can. I see happiness as a medicine. It works for me and I believe it can work for her as well. Be empathetic, but don't treat her any differently. Make her smile and smile with her.

ClassicPervert1 karma

How can you be empathetic and not treat her differently?

I have my own ideas, but what's your side of things?

onemanbandjo1 karma

I don't believe it's true empathy if you do. I just wanted to point it out.

Side of things towards what exactly?

gpoff6225 karma

I have two questions if you don't mind:

How has this battle impacted your perspective on life?

And

Ive heard stories about people being diagnosed that develop a bucket list mentality. Do you have any kind of bucket list or have you made certain activities/goals more of a priority in your life since being diagnosed?

Thank you so much for your time. Youre ability to continue the good fight is a testament to your inner strength and an inspiration to us all.

onemanbandjo7 karma

This battle has been a pure blessing in my life. It's shaped me into the man I am and I'm very grateful for this battle.

Funny thing, in 2012 I was sentenced 2 days before surgery to live then after surgery I was sentenced 2 years. I'm still alive today! What a blessing. I still don't really have a bucket list mentality. Nothing wrong with it, I just sometimes go with the flow.

thewholebagel5 karma

Do you know about First Descents?

onemanbandjo2 karma

No I do not

Always_A_DJ5 karma

What do you do to keep a positive attitude?

onemanbandjo17 karma

Having faith helps me keep a positive attitude, along with having supportive family and friends. Also, I am a singer/songwriter and I find music to be therapeutic. I have written many songs about my journey. A few years ago, I established a nonprofit organization in order to give back what I can; this brings me great joy.

JohnnyFoxborough1 karma

Are you a Christian?

onemanbandjo1 karma

Yes sir I am proud to be one.

oppositewerewolf4 karma

Your bravery and willpower inspire me. What's your favorite form of creative expression?

onemanbandjo3 karma

Thank you very very much. I'm a musician, so writing music and recording it is my favorite.

smash_1 karma

Please share it my dude. Love to hear it!

oppositewerewolf1 karma

I love music too. I've played the saxophone and took lessons for the electric guitar, and enjoy singing.

Do you like soul? Who's your favorite musical artist?

onemanbandjo5 karma

I love ALL genres of music! My favorite group is actually Mumford & Sons.

incandesantlite3 karma

Do you ever feel like just giving up? I can't even imagine doing 53 sessions of radiation never mind everything else you've been through. It's seems like it would be kind of hard not to be fatalistic in a situation like yours. Do you ever think one day you'll be in remission? Sry if the question is kind of personal.

onemanbandjo1 karma

I did receive remission once but another tumor showed. So we have yet to see where to go. One of my montras is,"Never give up" The fight may be hard, but who said the crown goes to the winner?

Yogagangstah19673 karma

When you had brain surgery, did all the tumors get removed?

onemanbandjo2 karma

No. Only part of one tumor was removed, and the rest of that tumor ended up being malignant. The second tumor was inoperable because of its location. At the time, I didn't have my third tumor.

Yossi251 karma

This is a really weird question, but what did the craniotomy feel like afterwards?

onemanbandjo3 karma

I had brain surgery in 2012, so my head was sore then. Nowadays it's minor headaches.

Samuraiprincesa1 karma

Were you awake when you were being operated on? And could you feel it happening?

I'm asking because in movies when people get brain surgery they're awake and talking normally and I've always thought that was crazy. Just wanna find out if it's like that in real life or not!

onemanbandjo1 karma

Haha that's because with some brain surgeries you do stay awake but I was actually asleep for mine. So, I didn't feel a thing. They gave me anesthesia.

PinchieMcPinch3 karma

As someone with brain issues (an injury, not on your scale) I'm keen to find out, how much have you found yourself pondering where your brain ends and 'you' begin, and how united or separate they are to you? I know before my injury I would've just said that my brain is basically me as a person, but with it failing in ways there are times where that really doesn't seem the case anymore.

Best of luck with the fight :)

onemanbandjo2 karma

I feel that the body houses the spirit temporarily. I still feel close with my body because I'm living. Even though that I have a lot of faith in God, so I am closer with spirit.

SelenaSeagull2 karma

Where are you now in your diagnosis? Has your condition improved since?

onemanbandjo3 karma

Remission was declared in January of this year, but another tumor was found later on. My doctors have found a new treatment for me to start, but I am postponing the start date by one month to see if the MRI results improve.

Boskage2 karma

Are you optimistic for a full recovery?

onemanbandjo3 karma

Yes. Patience though.

Boskage1 karma

Absolutely.

I expect an AMA in a few years time! Good luck bro.

onemanbandjo2 karma

Thank you very much my friend :)

waterontheknee2 karma

do you post on r/braincancer?

onemanbandjo1 karma

No I haven't but I want to right now.

Tarotxx2 karma

Do you find that you're less bothered by the little things in life now?

onemanbandjo2 karma

In a way yes but I'm more grateful towards the little things now.

bettycracker931 karma

What is your favorite activity and has that changed since your road to recovery??

onemanbandjo1 karma

It's writing music and it never changed before and after the journey began.

Samuraiprincesa1 karma

I'm a vegan too! I always encourage all my friends who have any health issues to eat more vegan meals. I really believe what you eat can have a significant impact on your illnesses. What's your favorite vegan meal?

onemanbandjo1 karma

That's awesome! So, don't hate me because I'm a not a full time vegan but I am full time vegetarian.

My favorite meal is actually yellow rice with pineapple, white onions, cilantro, Hawaiian seasoning sauce, topped with avocados that have chili powder sprinkled on top :)

xMoosey1 karma

What is your fighting force to stay positive every day? Much love and support!

onemanbandjo3 karma

God honestly helps me stay positive. Through this entire journey it was Him that kept me going. In 2012 the moment I learned I was diagnosed with brain cancer, the first thing I did was thank God because I knew this would be for a reason.

EndellionLoves3 karma

This very comment above me gives me so many more reasons why I should thank god daily....what amazing faith you have..

onemanbandjo1 karma

Thank you so much and yes! God deserves thanks to EVERYTHING!!!

FLlucky1 karma

How are you able to pay the costs? I imagine the cost

onemanbandjo3 karma

Yes it's very expensive. I live with my parents and they pay the medical bills. It's hard to afford it all, so if you're willing to contribute please visit;

https://www.gofundme.com/prayers4richie

Thanks :)

guirro1 karma

Do you believe in God?

onemanbandjo2 karma

Yes I do. Very much

tomatocheesecat1 karma

What is the best or most memorable thing that a nurse ever did for you?

onemanbandjo1 karma

The most memorable thing is from the surgery team, when I asked the doctor to take a picture of my tumor. Instead, they filmed the surgery!

tomatocheesecat1 karma

Would it be weird for me to ask you to post the video?

(I do apologize if this makes you uncomfortable)

onemanbandjo1 karma

Don't worry it doesn't make me feel uncomfortable. I just don't know where the video is at the moment. I'm sorry.

perpetual_pupil1 karma

Have you had any particularly stand-out good (or bad) experiences with your medical care?

onemanbandjo1 karma

Due to the tumor locations and movement, I lost a lot of mobility in my left side. This makes it hard to; walk, eat, brush teeth, get ready for the day, live life, play instruments, etc. etc. So, I'll usually have one to assist me through life.

waterontheknee1 karma

do you post on /braincancer ?

onemanbandjo1 karma

No, I never have.

land-locked1 karma

From what I can tell, you seem to be a pretty happy/optimistic guy. Were you always like this or was it something you had to work up to? Is it hard to stay positive?

onemanbandjo2 karma

Thank you! This is how I've always been. If you get bad news you just have to keep it all moving. I just like to add a smile because it's fun being happy to me!

artistickitty1 karma

what is the worst part of chemotherapy?

how did most of your friend/family react?

onemanbandjo1 karma

Just the nausea chemo causes.

A lot of them (I think all) were in total shock. They were also in shock how positive I reacted to the news.

forthelulz11221 karma

Is there something that presses you on to keep living? 5 years sounds like a really long time to have cancer, I don't know about the cancer that you have, is it debilitating and you can't do a lot? Are you missing out on going to school or anything? I read you do music.

onemanbandjo3 karma

I did have to stop school but I know that everything is for a reason. Because I know that, I'm never really worried. All this time I've been undertaking this battle has been great and I'm grateful.

[deleted]1 karma

[deleted]

onemanbandjo6 karma

30 minutes before I took chemo, I would take another pill to help me with my nausea. I follow a vegan diet, so I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables.

OSRSgamerkid0 karma

Ive heard of someone becoming severely mentally disabled after havint ear cancer due to the radiation

This sounds funny asking, but how are you not severly mentally handicapped?

onemanbandjo1 karma

Well, a lot of people have different characteristics like; tolerance to treatments, age, immune system strength, and most of all POSITIVITY! The tumors did cause me to be physically disabled in the left side but I'm not mentally disabled.

AeroFX-2 karma

Have you seriously researched cannabis oil?

onemanbandjo3 karma

People have talked to me a lot about it and I've heard of it. The wonders it all can do are phenomenal!

flawedbeings-5 karma

What's something you hope to do before you die?

onemanbandjo7 karma

I'm not really much of a bucket lister but I do hope to get married, have kids, and follow my music dream.

flawedbeings1 karma

I noticed my comment got a load of down votes, I didn't mean anything bad by it or to offend you, sorry.

onemanbandjo2 karma

No don't worry bud. I'm not offended or anything. No need to apologize but thank you for taking the time to do so.

hogandc-6 karma

Have you tried the restricted ketogenic diet? A young male patient in the UK refused chemo and used this diet to shrink his tumor until it was operable.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3691808/Quitting-carbs-saved-life-Cancer-victim-given-months-live-refuses-chemo-claims-diet-meat-dairy-s-alive-two-years-later.html

onemanbandjo1 karma

I've actually heard of this diet before. I never tried it though. What it has done sounds amazing.

dogdiarrhea1 karma

I noticed on your social media account that you're vegan, obviously consult your doctor before trying, but it is possible to be on a vegan keto diet. There's even a reddit community for it! https://www.reddit.com/r/veganketo/

Also since it seems veganism is important to you, what made you become vegan?

onemanbandjo1 karma

I'm a not a full time vegan but I am full time vegetarian. I just follow a vegan diet mainly for fun and for health benefits.

I have looked into that diet before and my doctors already barely approve my diet. So, I doubt they'd allow it but thank you oh so much.