Michael was diagnosed with a brain tumor on May 22,2019 at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, AZ. He had just returned from Alaska on May 10, 2019 and mentioned he had "a little headache". He'd been up for a very early flight out of Anchorage and knowing him, I assumed he hadn't eaten much or had anything to drink on the flight. A cup of coffee and a bottle of water seemed to do the trick. Over the next few days, he began to mentioned that he still had a bit of a headache. By week's end, he was spending his waking hours with an ice pack on his head and neck. By the weekend, he couldn't sleep because of the pain. The pain wasn't constant but when he had pain, it was intense. Advil helped with the pain, but it never completely went away. On Monday, we went to see our primary care physician's office to see the NP ( Jason) who put Michael through a series of tests. At the conclusion of the examination, he said straight up, "I don't like this one bit." He was thinking stroke so sent us for a STAT MRI in Prescott the following day. The MRI tech who had performed other MRIs on Michael did the brain MRI and afterwards walked Michael to the door of the facility and asked Michael if he was OK? On the drive home, Michael wondered why the technician said that. Of course, the technician saw what he saw and can't say anything to the patient. He did, however call our primary care's office with the final results of the MRI on Tuesday evening. Late Wednesday morning, we got a call from Jason who asked for me, didn't wish to speak with Michael and told me to drop everything that I was doing and get Michael in the car to head to Phoenix immediately. Jason said it appears that he has a lesion that is bleeding inside his brain. We drove the 2 hours to Phoenix and checked into the ER at Barrow. They already knew we were coming (thank you, Jason) and Michael was in a bed in the emergency room in less that 10 minutes!
From there, nurses, technicians, doctors and admitted clerks were in and out of his room or the next few hours constantly monitoring him and giving his medication for his pain. It took over 200 mg of Fentanyl (that's alot) before he got relief. And he was given steroids for the swelling and sent for another MRI. We knew that plan was to get him into ICU as soon as possible but they were waiting for a bed. Around 11 pm, the junior resident, Dr. Fury came into the room and told us that it was cancer. There was some bleeding but not significant at this time. They wanted very badly to keep him pain free and continued to administer Fentanyl which allowed Michael to finally get some rest. We were told he would likely have surgery in the morning so we grabbed food or Michael before being transferred to ICU.