John had been having trouble finding his words for about two years. At first, it was nothing more than the occasional aphasia we all have when we get tired or stressed and that is what we attributed it to. John has been under tremendous stress for about five years, really. I won't go into the why's of it, but all of that stress meant that he never slept for more than about a four-hour stretch at a time, and many nights he couldn't go back to sleep at all. But still, he rode his bike to work every day, he meditated, did calisthenics, walked the dog, played classical guitar, went on speaking tours and to scientific meetings, worked on committees and wrote the unceasing grant proposals...he led a very busy life.
Around Christmas, we noticed that his aphasia had gotten worse. He traveled a lot between then and April 20th and did ok, but I made an appointment for a check up for him anyway, intending to tell the doctor about his sleeping problems. Before the appointment date arrived, John came back from a trip to NOLA and seemed really out of it. The next day, April 21st, he came home for lunch and couldn't spell "badly", nor type it when I spelled it for him. I said, "Alright, get your jacket, we're going to the ER." I suspected he had had a mild stroke in NOLA or perhaps was having a series of mini-strokes. The ER did a CT scan and found a mass. It was removed at MD Anderson on April 29 and we had the diagnosis: grade IV glioblastoma. We were floored.