Can you support CaringBridge during our Fall giving campaign? Generous donors like you ensure that CaringBridge remains ad-free, private and protected.
Jan 15, 2018 Latest post:
Jan 19, 2018
Greg was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) in August of 2016. GBM is a malignant aggressive brain tumor. Greg had an acute onset of neurological symptoms on August 22, 2016 while at work. He was having difficulty with speech and later had a seizure while en route to the hospital. Greg was one of the lucky ones with this diagnosis in that his tumor had clear neat edges and was operable. Surgery was completed the following week and all visible tumor cells were removed, a complete resection. The tumor was located near his speech center and following surgery he had trouble with word finding and processing information. Surgery was followed up with six weeks of chemotherapy and radiation. Speech therapy also greatly improved word finding and processing. For the most part, Greg made a full recovery of his faculties. MRIs were conducted every three months and life went back into the regular swing of things.
In mid-December we started noticing a slight decline in cognitive abilities and very suddenly the week before this last Christmas there was a drastic change in word finding abilities and processing again. On December 21, 2017 an MRI revealed that new larger tumor had grown in roughly eight weeks. The new tumor is irregular in shape and is about three times the size of the original tumor. Its location in the front temporal lobe on the left side near the site of the old tumor. Greg was immediately started on steroids to help with the swelling in the brain caused by the tumor. The steroids dramatically improved his speech and processing skills, however there are still some significant deficits.
Surgery on the new tumor is scheduled for Monday, January 15 at 7:30 a.m. at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines. The surgeon is the same doctor who performed the first surgery and has cautioned us that this surgery could be lengthy as the tumor is larger and more irregular shaped. Greg’s surgery is also complicated by the fact that he has a mostly blocked right carotid artery (something that was discovered this last summer) which presents a stroke risk. Extra precautions will be taken during surgery to reduce the risk and potential damage from a stroke. Greg is very aware of the risks of surgery and the grave implications of not having surgery. He is very optimistic, positive and ready to get surgery over with.
He, as well as all of us family, are extremely grateful for all of your kind thoughts and messages we have received over the last year and a half and especially those received these last few weeks. Thank you for all of the prayers, kind words and gestures and we graciously ask that you keep the prayers and good vibes coming our way. We will try to keep you posted as we go in this journey.