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It all started in August when Steve started experiencing headaches. They didn't come every day, but they were always over his left eye/ear region. He also had some neck pain down the left side of his neck. He didn't know if he had a sinus infection or if this came from getting hit on the head with a box at work. Or if it was something else...
Then on September 9th, we noticed that Steve struggled to find words. He made sense, but stated he had a hard time describing what he was trying to say. The following day, however, it became much worse; he didn't make much sense. He still couldn't find the right words, and he kept repeating phrases over and over again. We decided that an ER visit was in store.
We went to the ER in Paynesville where a CT scan showed a mass in Steve's brain. They gave him some anti-swelling medication and sent him to St. Cloud Hospital via ambulance. After getting to St. Cloud, doctors recommended an MRI to show exactly what areas were affected by this mass.
Steve had an MRI Monday morning, followed by a doctor visit by a neurosurgeon. The neurosurgeon was fairly confident by looking at the MRI, that the baseball sized tumor was a malignant and aggressive brain tumor. He recommended surgery as soon as the swelling came down a bit. The doctor's predictions were based on the tumor location, the rapid decline in Steve's speech, headaches, and the appearance on the MRI.
Surgery was scheduled for Wednesday, September 13th. Surgery took about three hours. Following surgery, the doctor met with Steve's mom, Sharon, myself and our sons, Dylan and Carter, and told us once again, that he was confident that the mass in Steve's head was a tumor. He thought it was a Stage IV Glioblastoma. The surgeon was able to remove all of the tumor except for a rubber bouncy ball size spot that was touching the area of his brain responsible for speech and comprehension. The surgeon did not want to interrupt those areas.
Pathology came back on September 15th. We were facing a Stage IV Glioblastoma.
Steve came home from his hospital stay on Sunday, September 24. He passed his physical and occupational therapy milestones. He was however, told that he would be deemed permanently disabled due to aphasia (some speech and comprehension problems) and possible seizures caused by the tumor. He can no longer drive or go hunting. While these things bother him a great deal, he is eager to "hunt"with his boys, this time watching only and not carrying a gun. And its nice to have three other drivers in the house so the boys have been taking their dad places that he wants to go. It will also be weird for him to be "retired" from Gold 'n Plump where he worked for almost 28 years. He is very much looking forward to spending more time with his immediate and extended family.
He is currently working on recovering from surgery. Future plans are for staple removal on September 26th, and then a visit with an oncologist and radiologist early October.