Meet Steve - husband, father, grandfather, and MIRACLE MAN. Steve was diagnosed in November of 2007 with a Stage IV Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) - an aggressive malignant brain tumor on his left temporal lobe. He was given 8 weeks to live without treatment and a year with surgery and chemo. Our perceptive neuro-surgeon sent us directly to Duke where they mapped Steve's brain, resected (took out) his tumor, and set up his treatment plan within a clinical trial. He then returned to our home on Maryland's Eastern Shore to receive 6 weeks of radation and chemo (Temodar and Avastin), then on to Avastin and CPT-11 (irinotecan). Within two months his tumor was no longer visable on scans, and his PET scan in 7/08 was "cold" which means clear. MORAL OF STORY - Never read statistics or listen to prognoses!!!!
The medicine was great...Steve's attitude positive from the first moment...but God worked the miracle.
I recall walking into his hospital room after a friend drove me back to our house to collect some things. Only about 45 minutes had passed, but there was Steve (2 hours after being given the diagnosis) smiling ear to ear. "I had a long talk with God, and He has told me that I am already healed, but that the docs need to use me to learn more about brain cancer. He wants me to learn some valuable things as well!" Absent was any fear, any panic, nervousness, or worry...and perfect calm settled on Steve's face and in the room. I pulled up a chair, and Steve fell into a tranquil sleep.
I held his hand while a million thoughts crowded into my head. Worry, panic, anguish, fear all fought for first place and my heart pounded to keep up. I knew this was really getting bad so I - control freak of the century - made a decision. I imagined bundling all of the mental cares into a ball, and I deposited them in God's lap. I asked God to hold them for me because it was just too much. In an instant, I felt light, calm, and peaceful, and I dropped into a deep sleep, still holding Steve's hand.
The rest is just detail. After only 4 months of treatment, Steve was well enough to return to work as a paramedic/firefighter. Radiation burned off his hair, but otherwise one might never know that the kind, gentle, competent man caring for them at the accident scene was going through chemo or living as a survivor.
And finally, I can honestly say that never once in this harrowing journey has Steve EVER asked..."why me?" He accepted the challenge with courage, grace, and love. He's my guy, my soulmate, my hero - my angel.