News & Blog

Blogger Roundtable Roundup


In July, we launched the Blogger Roundtable, an effort to collaborate with brain tumor bloggers to collect and curate their advice and resources for the brain tumor community. For the first Blogger Roundtable, we asked writers to submit a published blog post related to symptom management for inclusion in a roundup here on our blog. We wanted to know the following:

What symptoms do you think should be candidates for therapeutic drug development? We want to hear about your views and experience to better inform our Clinical Trial Endpoints Initiative.

We are thrilled to feature eight bloggers who submitted posts with their advice and experiences with symptom management. A big ‘thank you’ to those who contributed this month. Please note that the views of each blogger do not reflect any position or opinions of the National Brain Tumor Society.

Candice Castonguay detailed her struggle with new and recurring symptoms since May. She writes about her familiar struggles with side effects from Decadron, and the new challenges she’s faced as the result of radiation necrosis. Ever optimistic, Candice’s blog (My Life With Cancer) is a steady look through the eyes of someone undergoing treatment for her Gliomatosis Cerebri (GC) tumor.

Started as a means to connect to his larger social network and provide updates to friends, Ryan Coffelt began writing Ryan’s Epic Journey, a blog about his fight with Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM). Nineteen months after his tumor was removed, Ryan wrote this post about dealing with fatigue, nausea, and other effects.

Ashley Myers-Turner’s blog, The MRI Project, has chronicled Ashley’s fight with a Grade 2 Astrocytoma. July’s blog entry, “At the Mercy of Fatigue,” tackles the ever-persistent exhaustion that has plagued her since her surgery over two years ago. She writes about managing fatigue with diet and exercise, and what would be on her wish list to banish this shadow for good.

Liz Salmi, the name behind The Liz Army, wrote about her struggles with fatigue as a side-effect of her anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs). Though it’s an ever-present thorn, Liz contrasts it to the effects of Temodar chemotherapy. This blog post also prompted many comments from her readers.

Catherine Blotner co-facilitates the monthly #btsm (brain tumor social media) Twitter chat with Liz Salmi. On Catherine’s blog, Plated Life, she has been writing about symptom management for a while.  Her posts on managing your health concerns while balancing your schoolwork are frank and brutally optimistic.

New to the blogging game, Ron Richards shared his insights and advice about living with a Grade 2 Astrocytoma, and how to manage your expectations when recovering from surgery. An attorney and runner, Ron’s blog post gives you a candid look on what to expect after surgery.

Jennifer Gillberto has written about her brain tumor, her survival, and advocacy. On her blog, Grey Matter Life, Jennifer wrote about how she managed the trials, symptoms, and uncertainty in a unique way, by explaining just how powerful recognition and earnest compassion can be from a medical professional.

Diagnosed with an infiltrating/ diffuse Astrocytoma in 2010, Jessica Oldwyn has gone through a few surgeries and treatments with a “never surrender” attitude throughout, which she chronicles on her blog. In “Cue the Music” she details her own thoughts on drug treatments and answers our question about what she would want to see in a new treatment.

We encourage you to read all of the submitted blog posts, share them, and comment on their blogs. You can stay in touch and receive email reminders about the Blogger Roundtable themes and Spotlight articles by signing up to join the email list.

If you would like to submit a blog post to our next Blogger Roundtable, the theme is Summer Reflections. Submit your best blog post written between June 1 and August 30, 2014. These posts should be relevant to the brain tumor community.

We’re looking forward to reading your posts!