Hello Everyone. My dad, Charlie McCune was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) Feb. 11, 2006. GBM is the most deadly and aggressive form of cancer. The statistics are not great......but my mom, dad, and I have learned not to pay any attention to statistics.......read more under "Full Story".
The nasty tumor begin to reveal itself through Bell's Palsy. My mom noticed his left side of his mouth was droopy. She had him go to his family doctor on Monday 2/6/06. His doctor said it was Bell's Palsy and had him go to outpatient physical therapy where they stimulated the left side of his mouth with some sort of electrical shock. The therapist said he was even responding to treatment. I went home to visit my parents on the following Friday 2/10/06. I talked to Mom before I arrived home and she had been trying to get Dad to go to see his doctor again, because he wasn't walking very good. He thought he was fine. He wouldn't go when I got home either & we went out to eat. I thought he seemed different during dinner. I finally convinced him to go to the ER early Saturday morning between 12:00A.M. and 1:00A.M. The ER doctor gave Dad a CAT scan and he told us that Dad had a brain tumor and needed to go right away to Deaconess Hospital in Evansville for a MRI. Dad's neurosurgeon came in and met with us after Dad's MRI. He revealed to us that Dad had 3-6 months to live. We were scared to death. He told Dad that he needed to make a decision of what he wanted to do by the following morning. Dad asked if he could take chemo or have radiation to shrink the tumor. He told Dad no. His only options were to have surgery, or wait to die. He said he would more than likely not make it through surgery, he would either bleed to death, have a stroke, not wake up, or go into a coma. Dad thought and prayed and asked God for help with his decision. By that evening he told Mom and I that he was going to have surgery because he couldn't lay there and wait to die. He had surgery on Wednesday 2/15/06. He remained upbeat, he laughed and joked, and helped everyone else deal with the shock. He never got down. He said he would beat the cancer. The surgery was 9.5 hours! After the surgery Dad's neurosurgeon came in and talked to us and he told us that he wasn't able to remove all of the tumor, but he removed a large portion of it. He told us that he didn't want to go any deeper because his brain was starting to bleed and he had to get out. We were able to see him shortly after surgery. He had a ventilator in and he couldn't speak but he was responding to us. Then two hours later we were allowed to go back in and he was talking to us!! It was a miracle from God! We stayed at the hospital and we went in to see him Thursday morning. He wasn't on any pain medication at all! I couldn't believe it. He had only one Tylenol the next day. Dad was taking a nap later on and my Mom and I were waiting in the waiting room with friends and family and the neurosurgeon stopped by and told us that he gave Dad a CAT scan and there was no sign of stroke or bleeding on the brain.He also told us that a radiologist oncologist would be stopping by to talk to us about Dad starting IMRT radiation and chemo. We were shocked and so happy because he told Dad earlier that he chemo or radiation was not an option. Dad left the hospital on Saturday 2/18/06 and was admitted to a rehab hospital for two weeks to help him walk again and regain his strength. I took three weeks off from school to be with Mom and Dad. My principal and school superintendents let me work a three day week. After Dad went home he began 30 treatments of IMRT radiation along with Temodar. After the radiation was over with he began a cycle of Temodar....23 days off and 5 days on. The amazing thing was Dad never got sick from the chemo. He was super tired from the radiation and chemo though. It didn't stop him from eating out, camping, mowing, or keeping busy. He took a lot of naps and he rested more...but that was ok. He had his first MRI in June to see if the Temodar was working. The tumor was shrinking. He had another MRI in October. We were told that one side of the tumor was shrinking and the other side stayed the same. Sometime between October-December the tumor became aggressive again. We went to his oncologist and he told us that he was going to stop treatment because it wasn't working and he would give dad medicine to keep him comfortable when he needed it. I was not going to give up and let my dad die. My dad looked at me and asked me if I was giving up and I told him no...I asked him and he said, "no, I am not." . I am out of space. Read the rest under journal entry 3/20/07.
I hope everyone is doing well. I thought I would update Dad's journal since it has been awhile. I want to give my updated email address in case anyone has any questions. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I will be happy to provide you with any information or answer any questions.
There isn't an hour that goes by in my day that I don't think about my dad. It will be four years in August since dad's passing. I do not miss my dad any less and I still can't say it is any easier....but I have learned to cope with it better. It is a new way of life without Dad. :( I cherish our memories. I would give anything to be able to hug my dad and tell him how much I miss him and thank him again for being the best father I could ask for.