Rudy Fischmann, husband and father of two from, Knoxville, Tennessee was diagnosed with a Grade 2 Diffuse Astrocytoma in 2018. He was then diagnosed again with a Grade 3. While going through his own fight, he shares other brain cancer stories on his YouTube Channel called Brain Cancer Diaries.
Here is his story:
How did you find out about your diagnosis?
I was having issues with vertigo and fatigue for years. I would be very prone to motion sickness, feel off-balance when I moved and slept. In 2018 I arranged to get yet another opinion from a neurologist – the one type of doctor I had never been referred to prior. She arranged for an MRI “just to rule out the unlikely”.
After my scan, I wasn’t allowed to leave the facility and was sent to a nearby hospital for surgery. A biopsy showed I had a Grade 2 Diffuse Astrocytoma in my cerebellum and brain stem. I’m still in my first year of chemo so my fatigue is pretty heavy thanks to meds and my balance isn’t so great. but it’s all slowly getting better with the help of a physical therapist.
I mostly focus on my recovery since my first year with brain cancer was a doozy (2 craniotomies and lots of complications with meds)
What do you do now in your life?
I’ve spent a lot of time reaching out to other brain tumor endurers and chronicling their stories and outlooks as part of a video blog series called “Brain Cancer Diaries” on Youtube – but it discusses more than just brain cancer.
I’ve had people on with brain cancer, benign tumors, acoustic neuroma, Meniere’s, rectal cancer, leukaemia, lymphoma, and more awful things that no one wants.
Sharing their stories and mine not only helps me deal/understand my own diagnosis, but my hope is that it spreads awareness and helps others in some way.
I plan on getting good enough balance to ride a bike, swim, and run again. Someday I will complete an Ironman.
Here is one of Rudy’s interviews with a brain tumour warrior
What is the toughest challenge survivor’s face?
There are two pretty big challenges:
- The first is the very slow rollercoaster ride of recovery, where everything takes longer than the doctors tell you it will, with lots of unexpected setbacks and surprise improvements.
- The second is staying mentally focussed on the long-term big picture. It’s important for staying positive so you can really see how you’ve improved over a waaaaaay too long period.
Any advice for people or loved ones that get daunting diagnoses?
Your disease may redefine how you live your life, but don’t let it define you. It may seem anachronistic, but I look at it as my tumor co-inhabiting the same vessel as me… and it’s a very bad roommate.
What motivates you?
I’m motivated mostly by my amazing wife who not only has been a loving caretaker and marvellous, but essentially single mother to our two children throughout this ordeal.
Who is your personal hero or are your heroes?
Everyone I interview inspires me in some way on my Video Blog, but there’s a special place for: Ja Quitta Williams, Paul Moran, Byron King, Sara Crosland and Molly Marco.
What would you say is the most interesting thing you’ve ever done?
- I’ve played in lots of punk bands
- I toured the world as a tv documentarian
- I was a professional Wrestling writer (WWE),
- I worked very briefly as a garbageman
- But my favorite story is about the time I auditioned for the New York Metropolitan Opera as a kid by singing “Happy Birthday”
Tell us something about yourself that people probably didn’t know… anything?
Some people haven’t realized it yet, but I’m the hottest cancer dude on the internet. Get with the program, people.
Conclusion: Wow, what a man you are. You can say you already have done the Iron Man challenge with your own personal battles. I absolutely agree that helping others can help a person proses their own situation.
People can find Rudy via his social media pages:
YouTube Channel: Brain Cancer Diaries