I met hope head on by taking care of my dad.
My dad was diagnosed with GBM in Dec. 2014. The day it all started was a whirlwind. He had recently had surgery on his foot after falling off a scaffolding at work, and he was acting strange. He had gotten sick at the grocery store and when I took him home I told him I’d call him later to check on him.
When I called there was no answer, I figured he was still sleeping. So I waited a little longer and tried again. Still no answer for over 5 hours. I loaded my daughter (who was 2 at the time) into the car and headed over. When I got there, he was gone. I tried calling his local hangout spots and he hadn’t been there. I started getting worried. I finally.got ahold.of him and he was talking really strangely — In the 3rd person and describing roads that weren’t even in our state.
I went into his house and found something with his license plate info on it and was going to call 911. As.i got ready to press “send” he pulled in. He wasn’t supposed to be driving. I asked where he was and he asked me where I was. I noticed his eyes were a little off so I shined my flashlight in his eyes and his pupils didn’t dilate. So I told him I was taking him to the ER. I had a fight with him about going. I said, “I think you’re having a stroke.”
He didn’t want to go so I called my aunt and she talked him into going. I get there and explain the situation and the staff were so fast! Had him in a wheel chair into the hospital and down stairs for testing before I had even gotten back inside from parking.
When I got inside they took me to his room and he didn’t know who I was. He didn’t know where he was or anything. He went back in time back to when he first joined the Navy. He thought he was in Rhode Island. We live in PA. The only person he knew was my daughter. He remembered everything. Her bday, her full name. When the doctors would ask him who anyone was he would say our name, what short color we had on, except for her.
At this point it’s 3 am and I had to take my daughter home. I went back to the hospital the next morning. I was told they were lifeflighting him. I rushed right over and the weather was iffy so they took him by ambo. We get to the next hospital and they ran tons of tests. Then finally the brain biopsy.
That’s when we found out he was diagnosed with GBM. it was the worst day of my life.
They said they wouldn’t be able to do surgery due to size and location. Then one doctor said he could do it. Dad was scheduled for surgery after Christmas. He pulled through surgery amazingly. Went though the 6 weeks of chemo and radiation and did amazing. The doctors were amazed at how well he was doing!
But after six weeks, he had a set-back. They did scans only to find that the tumor came back with a vengeance. Bigger and spread. There was nothing more they could do. My heart shattered.
He went into the same facility he went to after surgery, and made it 4 days. My heart shattered as I laid my head on his chest listening to his heart beat and stop. Hearing him take his last breath. I had to tell him it was ok to let go so he wouldn’t be in anymore pain. And that I loved him one last time. His mom also passed from GBM in 99. It’s heart wrenching. But my.dad was so strong through everything. He didn’t lose to cancer, he kicked cancer’s butt.