Pam Cairns Pamela Cairns

Last February, Pam was having some short-term memory problems while we were on vacation in Hawaii.  We thought that maybe it was the Hawaiian names that were new to us, but Pam had a feeling that something wasn’t right. 

In March, we went to the Big Ears music festival in Knoxville, TN with our friends Doug and Nina.  Pam had difficulty remembering streets and venues and she knew something was wrong.  We asked for an MRI from the clinic and at the end of May, they authorized the MRI.  Pam was diagnosed with a high-grade glioma or what is commonly called Glioblastoma—stage 4 brain cancer that, in her case, is inoperable.

Pam had a round of intensive chemotherapy and radiation treatments in June.  After a rest period of several weeks, she is now in a second round of a chemo therapy called Avastin.  The purpose of these therapies is to slow the growth of the cancer and reduce the inflammation and swelling that can reduce some of the symptoms as has seemed to be the case for the time being.

It has been a difficult time for Pam, as well as our entire families.  Pam has short term memory problems, periods of confusion, and she walks with assistance.  On the other hand, particularly when in discussions with family members and friends, Pam is completely engaged and lucid, has command of her long-term memory, and has her sharp sense of humor.

We have a great medical team that is always responsive to our questions and concerns and are always paying close attention to the details of this complex medical situation.  We have the full-time assistance of a skilled caregiver.  And there’s been a steady stream of family and friends who visit and call, giving Pam the opportunity to recall the past, and discuss the crazy world in which we live.

Pam loves to hear from friends.

You can write to Pam at:  2751 W. Logan Blvd., Apt. 1, Chicago, IL 60647.  You can reach me at