L36 — September 2011 — Long-Term Brain Cancer Survivor
Intro: You have brain cancer. Those are devastating words for anyone to hear. A man named Morgan Tyner heard those words and was told he had only months to live. But 20 years later he's still here. This is his inspirational story of survival.
I was a triathlete, a runner, a tennis player.
Morgan Tyner was living life at top speed. Then a sudden seizure followed by the diagnosis.
It was just devastating to my life.
Doctors told Morgan he had an aggressive brain tumor called an anaplastic astrocytoma. They also told him he had one month to live.
Really shocked me and changed my life.
That was 20 years ago.
After five years, which is a milestone, I was shocked to still be alive.
Morgan was alive. So he decided to get on with it.
You have to realize that it's not necessarily the end of life.
So Morgan started a successful video production company. But his journey through life with a brain tumor has not been and is still not easy.
I had nine brain surgeries. I've had over a year of chemotherapy, four months of external radiation. I had one month of internal radiation seeds.
Because there's always the chance the tumor will come back.
Fortunately for Morgan, because of the location of his tumor he's been able to have multiple surgeries, and when the tumor grows back, he's been able to be re-operated on.
Dr. Alyx Porter is one of Morgan's doctors at Mayo Clinic. She says one reason he's done so well is that his tumor is located in the frontal lobe of the brain, and doctors are able to remove it without damaging surrounding areas. One surgery did leave Morgan with some weakness on his left side, and he does take medication to control occasional seizures. But he is living and living well.
He's beaten the odds 20 years later. It's just an inspiration to know him and care for him.
Cancer has been more of an adventure for me. It's been a little bit of a tough time, but the steps forward really have revealed something of my life. After 20 years I'm still surprised about every day, but I do appreciate every day of life.
Morgan wants to encourage all people who are fighting brain cancer to maintain hope. Because he says he's living proof that there can be life with brain cancer.
For Medical Edge, I'm Vivien Williams.
After Morgan's first surgery, he had months of physical therapy to regain use of his left side, which was weak after the operation. He had to learn to walk and talk again. But perseverance and good medical care helped him regain his life.
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