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HOW DO YOU MEASURE SUCCESS OR QUALITY OF LIFE?

By Stacia Wagner
Monday, October 10, 2011

In the Sunday, October 9,2011 New York Times Sunday Review section, there was an article entitled “Redefining What No. 1 Means.” The last paragraph reminded me of the struggle I see so many brain tumor survivors face. The author is discussing societies who rank high in Quality of Life scores and says : “What these societies have in common is that rather than striving to be the biggest they instead aspire to be constantly better.”

Much like the confusion of measuring success or quality of life as a nation, we struggle with how to measure quality of life in the pediatric brain tumor community. CBTF wants to build programs which enhance and improve the quality of life for families during and after a brain tumor diagnosis and treatment. Parents, patients, survivors and siblings always talk about the changes in values, priorities, and perspectives after a brain tumor diagnosis. I know the survivors I work with often have the wisdom and depth of a person 30 years their senior. Does this mean their quality of life is better? At the end of the day, what is it that makes you think you have a great quality of life? Tell us.

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