My Wife’s GBM Brain Cancer, One Year and One Month Later

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On November 7, 2017, my wife was admitted to Cone Hospital’s ER department in Greensboro. Shortly after came surgery (resection) and diagnosis of Glioblastoma multiform (GBM) a fatal form of brain cancer.  As I have covered here previously we have taken a journey from diagnosis to chem/radiation and failed chemotherapy to a decision to discontinue treatment and be cared for by Hospice of Randolph County.

With a years passage, we have made adjustments in the everyday.  She now uses a shower transfer bench and a walker more regularly. We have changed to an adjustable bed base to make it easier for her to get in and out of bed. 

 One of the hardest things about this cancer is what the steroids are doing to her. Known as “Moon face”, making her very self-conscious. It doesn’t hide the inner beauty, I’ve always known. But, the outer beauty that added another dimension to her as a person. More importantly, it means when we go out, there are stares that at times have found me wanting to launch into a verbal tirade, but hesitating as I don’t want her to hear it. Something like, “Take a picture, it’ll last longer. This is what brain cancer looks like. Quit staring, asshole” seems appropriate.

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We also went back to the eye doctor in the last few months as her prescription has changed. The optometrist has been awesome as have the people at EyeMart Xpress in Greensboro where we switched up glassed within their warranty without so much as a single complaint.

We checked out the plaque at our columbarium in the memorial park where we will both be interred. Despite the fuck up with the first plaque we now have this “to do” settled. It’s a damn good thing I did this before we really needed it. Thanks to a helpful Google review on this place, I pushed them on getting this plaque made and in place. Even going so far as to pay for the plaque up front. The quote on the plaque is from a poem by ee cummings, the first line, “i carry your heart” is part of a poem that was read during our wedding ceremony. You can read the poem here. We had inscribed “i carry your heart with me” 

There are okay days and better days. The okay days are gray, gut-wrenching and tearful.

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Not knowing how to handle it as cancer doesn’t come with an owner’s manual, we have decided to put one foot in front of the other and take it one day at a time. Knowing that worrying is a thief of the present and we will not allow that… to the extent possible.

Enjoy today, it is the gift. Tomorrow is not guaranteed.

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