Do You Qualify for Financial Support From Social Security?

If you or someone you love has brain cancer, there are many possible sources of financial support to help pay for medical treatments, rent or a mortgage, childcare, or any other day-to-day living expenses. One source is from the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA offers monthly financial resources for people of all ages who […]

Three Key Components of Survivorship

Receiving a cancer diagnosis comes as a shock to the person with the disease, but also for people around them. Lots of thoughts whirl through your mind about how to manage this new chapter. Learning about a recurrence can also be overwhelming. After talking with a broad range of survivors spanning those who are at […]

Resilience in the Face of Adversity

“I am a 17-year glioblastoma survivor. The key to my resilience is rooted in my choosing to be positive in the face of whatever glioblastoma throws at me. With this mindset, I strategize what tools and weapons I need to fight each battle and become stronger. There is always hope! I will never surrender!” –  […]

Hope Throughout the Journey

“Hope” is the thing with feathers – That perches in the soul – And sings the tune without the words – And never stops – at all – Emily Dickinson Hope is a very powerful and positive emotion that many people rely on during their fight against brain cancer. The meaning of hope and the […]

The Importance and Challenge of Clinical Trial Randomization in Cancer

Why are clinical trials randomized? Patients and families sometimes ask this question about the Phase 2/3 Toca 5 study. To better understand this challenging and often frustrating topic, I interviewed Asha Das, M.D., vice president of clinical development and medical affairs at Tocagen.

Choosing the Right Brain Tumor Clinical Trial

Clinical trials are necessary to advance potential new treatments and demonstrate effectiveness. For patients who decide to participate in a clinical trial, finding the right clinical trial for them can be challenging and there is a lot information to absorb. If you are receiving care at a hospital that has a dedicated brain tumor program, […]

Lightning Striking

When lighting strikes 3 times: Mother of 3 children with brain tumors shares insights on being a caregiver

With three children diagnosed with brain tumors in their 20’s, Catherine Stryker is a veteran caregiver and a remarkable woman. One daughter had an acoustic neuroma, Catherine’s son had an oligoastrocytoma that became a glioblastoma from which he died after a 17-year battle, and her other daughter has an anaplastic astrocytoma. In addition, Catherine works […]

Brain Cancer and Clinical Trial Medicine Decisions

The Impact of Avastin (Bevacizumab) on Clinical Trial Eligibility

I often encounter patients and their caregivers who are unaware that receiving Avastin too early in their treatment plan can actually disqualify them from participating in many clinical trials. This causes a lot of frustration for patients who want to participate in such trials but only learn about this issue after it’s too late. Improved […]

Nutrition for Brain Cancer Patients – Eating Better, Feeling Better, Living Better

With so many things going on while battling a brain tumor, it’s challenging to pay attention to nutrition. To complicate things further, conventional treatments can cause some people to experience taste changes, which makes food choices and nutrition a moving target. I am commonly asked by survivors and their caregivers if diet can be helpful […]

Fatigue: A common symptom and source of frustration in the fight against brain cancer

In many studies describing the experience of high grade brain tumor survivors, fatigue is named as being one of the most debilitating factors that decreases quality of life. This condition is characterized by overwhelming tiredness that cannot be remedied by a good night’s sleep. People with fatigue report that they are unable to participate in […]

Consider Becoming a Medical Explorer in the Fight Against Brain Cancer

Brain cancer is a devastating disease. Patients and their family and friends are shocked when they are diagnosed with brain cancer. Many people can describe the event or series of events that were the tell-tale signs leading up to their diagnosis and are often overwhelmed with the volume of information and adapting to their “new […]

Top Three Tips for Brain Cancer Patients and Their Caregivers

Over the last 30 years I have supported hundreds of patients and their caregivers in their fight against brain cancer. From this experience, three of the most important things patients and their caregivers can do is: Seek care at the most experienced institution near you that sees brain cancer patients every week. These are usually […]

About the Blogger:
Mary Lovely Ph.D. RN, CNRN

Mary Lovely PhD, RN, CNRN, lives in San Francisco, United States and is a Special IBTA Advisor.

Mary also consults for Tocagen Inc. as a Patient Support and Liaison and is available to answer questions from patients or their caregivers about Tocagen’s Toca 5 virus trial for people with recurrent glioblastoma or anaplastic astrocytoma: (858) 412-8473;

Read Mary’s bio.