Deb Sparrow

First post: Sep 20, 2022 Latest post: Oct 4, 2022
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Starting late spring of this year, Deb started having trouble finding words (aphasia).  At first it wasn't overly alarming, everyone stumbles while talking sometimes.  But as spring progressed her speech patterns and word finding became more and more difficult.  We were all concerned that it may be signs  that her lung cancer, which was initially diagnosed in 2015, had come back and spread to her brain.   She went in for CT and MRI scans which showed a large mass in her brain.  After a brain biopsy at the Mayo Clinic in July, we learned the devastating news that the tumor was Glioblastoma which is the worst of the worst kind of brain cancer.  Glioblastoma is an extremely aggressive type of brain cancer for which there is no cure.  It is fast growing and infiltrates the brain tissue via finger-like tentacles which makes 100% removal impossible.  There are no known causes of Glioblastoma; it is not genetic and no environmental causes have been identified.  Deb's care team at Mayo offered a treatment plan that combined radiation with chemotherapy.  However, this treatment merely slows the progress of the cancer and it does not restore functions that have already been lost (speech, motor coordination, etc).  The treatment can also be painful (think of sunburn on the inside of your brain) and the chemotherapy can have an impact on everyday quality of life.   For these reasons as well as other personal ones, Deb decided to forgo treatment and instead focus on spending her last days peacefully at home.  She is currently on hospice care.