Oct 28, 2020 Latest post:
Nov 26, 2020
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your visit here and if you can continue to keep Jim in your prayers.
How did we get here? To this diagnosis of Glioblastoma? Our Dad ,Jim Malek can remember the day like it was yesterday, February 15th, 2020. He was driving to a familiar location when he all the sudden seemed to not know if he should turn left or right. Very odd for someone who has an internal map in his head and can get to anyplace on back country roads when most of us could hardly manage without Google maps. He thought it was strange, but happened just that once, so he continued on. He was working harder than ever finishing a huge project at work, and counting down the days to his retirement in July. He had a few more episodes similar to that, but they were so infrequent. As the summer went on, he retired early July, and spent his first Summer retired, doing all the things that he wanted to do. Spending time fishing, family trips at Spirit Lake, singing in weddings, and enjoying time with many friends and just loving life, as he does so well. As the Summer and Fall went on, he was having more frequent episodes of having difficulty finding things he would just set down, and trouble navigating common roadways. We thought perhaps the major life changes of retirement were playing a role, but still decided to have him see his PCP to rule out anything else. Cognition remained sharp as a tack, neuro testing showed no deficits, Carotid Ultrasound showed no concern and he finally got a new CPAP to wear at night after about 20 years. Mom made him a neurology appointment at Mayo, and the earliest was the end of November. After a particularly frustrating weekend, Mom called his PCP and said "we are coming in and we want an MRI of his head". Our dad was convinced there was a tumor there. We have never wanted him to be more wrong than he was that day. Let me note, never did he have headaches, loss of balance, nausea, vomiting or seizures....all things that point to brain cancer. He went to his wonderful and caring primary care physician on October 21st, they ordered an MRI. He had an MRI on Friday October 23rd in the morning, and they called to say that the doctor wanted to see them, there were significant concerns on the images. Friday at 4:30 pm, Dad and Mom learned that he had a tumor in the occipital lobe of his brain, the visual processing portion, that extends to the the corpus callosum, the middle of the brain that helps the left and the right side communicate with each other. This is known as a butterfly glioma.
As we all were in shock, we knew we needed to get him to Mayo ASAP. Melinda and Craig, had some incredible connections and were able to get him an appointment on Monday, October 26th, just 3 days after his diagnosis. We will continue the story as journal entries when we learn what the next steps will be. Please check back to follow his journey, as we know he is ready to take Cancer on a wild ride. Stay positive, enjoy the small moments in life, and find ways to bless other people each and everyday.