Robert's story began around the middle of April 2016. It began with a headache. Thinking it was just sinus he took over the counter meds hoping it would relieve it. The sinus meds didn't seem to help and the headache continued to get worse. By the weekend, it was really bad so he had his oldest son Sean take him to the ER at Wheaton Franciscan medical center near Oak Creek, WI. They examined him and after discussing his symptoms decided it must be a migraine and gave him what they refer to as a "Migraine Cocktail" through an IV and sent him home.
The following week the headache continued to the point where he was unable to work. By Friday, he decided he should just go to work in spite of the headache so he did. But the day didn't go so well. He became severely nauseated every time he moved too fast and the pain became excruciating. He barely made it home. He called his DR and was given medication to stop the nausea, but the pain didn't go away. He somehow made it through Saturday, but by Sunday, he had his son take him back to the ER. This time they did a CT scan and found two masses in his brain.
He was immediately transferred to Froedtert Lutheran Medical College in Milwaukee where they specialize in neurological diseases. He had a mass on his right temporal lobe that was displacing his brain. There was a second mass deeper and more centrally located, but still on the right side. It was a miracle he hadn't had a seizure. They would remove the mass on the temporal lobe, but the other one was too deep. Surgery was scheduled for the following Tuesday April 18, 2016.
The surgery went well and he recovered miraculously fast, but we were told that it was not a matter of "if" but "when" the tumor would come back. We were also told that it is virtually impossible for the Drs. to get the tumor completely out because they grow tiny little feelers that are not even visible. Also, there was the other tumor which they were not even able to get to. They would give his incision a month to heal and then begin treatment - 6 weeks of radiation along with chemotherapy. The Chemo and radiation went well. The biggest side effect was exhaustion. At the end of the six weeks he would get a month off to rest and regain his strength.
In the two weeks following his surgery the decision was made that I, his mother, would move over to Wisconsin from Michigan to stay with him and help him. It was a good time for me to move as my lease was about up and I was not needed there. I was kind of at loose ends as my husband of 44 years had just passed away in February of 2016. The move was made during his month reprieve from treatment.
I feel very blessed to be here with him and to be able to help him. His eye sight has been affected so he can no longer drive. I am his chauffeur. Aside from taking him to his appointments at Froedtert, we have gone on many fun adventures and truly enjoyed our time together.
On August 17, 2016 he began his Optune treatment. He wears an adhesive cap on his head connected to a battery pack which sends electrical impulses to his brain targeting the tumors. The electrical impulses interrupt the growth of the cancer cells and prevent them from dividing and growing. We are praying that this will be his miracle from God. Along with Optune, he is on a maintenance dose of Chemo. He takes the Chemo 5 days each month and has 23 days off.