Tom Bleisch

First post: Jan 27, 2022 Latest post: Mar 14, 2022
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using this to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. 

As many of you know, Tom was diagnosed with grade 4 Glioblastoma in October 2019.  He was having headaches and just not himself.  We went to the emergency room and they found a mass in the right temporal lobe of his brain.  Surgery was performed on October 31, 2019 and the Glioblastoma diagnosis was confirmed soon after.  He recovered from surgery and then completed 30 rounds of radiation and 42 doses of chemo.  Not long after those treatments were complete we learned that there was tumor progression.  His doctors discussed options with us and after a failed attempt to get into a clinical trial they decided to try a different chemo drug and add a drug called Avastin.  For 10 months he received an infusion every two weeks and took a chemo pill every six weeks.  It was doing what it was supposed to do and Tom was able to continue to work and enjoy every day life.  Just weeks after starting this new treatment, the world went on lockdown.  Tom was able to keep working, but from home.  

This new treatment was working to stabilize the tumors, but was taking a toll on his body, so in January of 2021 chemo had to be stopped and he just received the Avastin every two weeks. Then in June 2021 he had his first ever seizure that landed him in the hospital for several days. It was determined that the Avastin could have contributed to the seizure and he was advised to discontinue the treatment and take a break as he recovered from the seizure.  As a result of the seizure, he experiences some aphasia so was unable to return to work. Then in October 2021 an MRI revealed progression.  At that point he received one targeted dose of radiation and started Keytruda infusions every 3 weeks.  He was feeling ok and we enjoyed having the kids home for Christmas.  Another scan in early January revealed more progression.  His only real option was to continue on Keytruda and add a whole round of radiation.  There are risks associated with radiating the area again that could be significant.  After thinking, praying and talking with the kids he decided the risk was too great and he was going to stop treatment and just enjoy life. Since he is no longer receiving treatments he was admitted to home hospice.  He feels pretty good right now so the services provided are pretty limited-just a once a week nurse visit to check on him.  While this is a really tough journey to be on, we recognize the many blessings we have in our life.  We choose to focus on the blessings and enjoy family and friends every chance we get.  We started this caring bridge to make it easier to communicate with those interested in updates.  We still welcome texts, emails, phone calls and visits.  This just makes it easier for us to provide updates in one place.  

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