Tara in SwingI remember when we were first in hospital and told the words that Tara’s tumour was benign. It had been a tremendously difficult time, and yet at last, here was some good news. I remember thinking, “phew!” and deciding that everything from hereon in would be okay. I remember writing in my no fear blog entry that I had felt fraudulent because Tara was out of the woods and there were children on her ward with far more serious illnesses. My focus then shifted to Tara’s shunt. Yet I remember Tara’s surgeon, Sanj Bassi, asking me why I was worrying about the shunt when it’s the tumour that I should be concerned with? I wanted to scream at him. “But it’s benign! The shunt could go wrong at any time!” Yet two and a half years down the line and I was wrong and Mr Bassi was right. The shunt has worked perfectly, but Tara has now had surgery on her tumour twice. She’s a happy, healthy 5-year old pain-in-the-butt just like any other wilful little lady, yet 4 months after her last craniotomy and we’ve just had the news the Tara’s tumour is growing AGAIN. And now our options are getting nastier nastier, because according to mainstream medicine, if we’re going to treat this, we are facing chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Chemotherapy carries the risk of toxicity, which could make Tara very unwell. Radiotherapy means risking Tara’s cognitive functions. What should one do? So I have become wary of the classification of my daughter’s brain tumour as ‘benign’. There’s nothing particularly benign about it! Brain tumours are inherently difficult, and that classification does not prepare one for the road that may well lie ahead. I can’t imagine how one must cope with being told that your child’s tumour is malignant. But they can be cured. Low grade glioma’s like Tara’s often cannot be cured, but just ‘managed’ over time. And that means nasty medicines….. So to my mind, it would be more correct to use the terms ‘cancerous’ or ‘malignant’ when referring to brain tumours. They are malignant if they infiltrate other cell tissues in the brain, but still cancerous if they can grow and regrow. In fact, over the past few months I have become comfortable with using the word ‘cancer’ to refer to my daughter’s illness, because it has helped me realise the fight we have on our hands…… When you create this new article, I believe that the piece at the bottom of the page re: will ‘fall off the home page’ so please be sure that you add this article to the http://www.fightplga.org/research/New_Abstracts page with the title “Scientists find mutation driving pediatric brain tumors” with date of 4/2013 and link it to the actual article which can be found at: http://www.newswise.com/articles/scientists-find-mutation-driving-p… Thank you