Pretty much every day, you can find Kim Byriel and his wife Julia walking around their neighborhood in Mountain Top.
They spend a lot of time together now, and with their two sons. Ever since July of last year.
That’s about when Kim noticed something was off. No massive headaches, no seizures. He just didn’t feel right.
Assuming it was simply stress-related, he and Julia made an appointment for a few tests.
“After the cat scan we were sitting there waiting. We were wondering where to go to lunch! But I remember the nurse walking in and saying- go to the emergency room.”
Here’s what doctors found. A brain tumor measuring nearly 2-inches in diameter.
And further testing confirmed their worst fears.
“It was not benign. It was a malignant tumor.”
Dr. Michel La Croix is Kim’s doctor, a neurosurgeon oncologist at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center.
He says Kim’s diagnosis was quite serious: a recurrent, malignant glioblastoma multiforme, stage 4, very aggressive.
“Glioblastoma has been challenging neurosurgeons since the turn of the century. We’ve made some progress, but we have not made enough progress.”
The normal course of action for such a cancer is chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery to extract as much of the tumor as possible.
But there is now another option. It’s called a tumor treating field, manufactured by a company called Nova-Care.
It works by using using electrical fields to break down existing tumors, and disrupt the growth of new ones.
Dr. La Croix says Geisinger was heavily involved in the clinical trial that led to its FDA approval.
Kim and Julia are on board with whatever may help.