I am now ready to tell HIS story!
His name is Richard A. Swinhart. He was the epitome of health, and worked very hard as a Golf Course Superintendent for over 20 years. He loved the outdoors and enjoyed his family. He took pride in what he did, and loved spending time with his kids and 5 grandkids. In April 2014, he started getting bad headaches and felt very fatigued over the last year or two. The headaches got increasingly worse over the next few months. He also started to have numbness and tingling down his arms, nausea and vomiting. We thought it was stress but, nevertheless, decided to go to the doctor to make sure there was nothing more. They ordered an MRI to make sure it was not a pinched nerve or something in his back. We bulked at first due to the price because our insurance would only pay so much. However, we decided to get the MRI to be on the safe side.
They performed an MRI on July 2, 2014. We had not even left the radiology center when they told us to go immediately back to our doctors office. It was already 5:00pm so we knew that something was up. To our shock and amazement, they found a 4cm brain tumor on the right hemisphere of his brain. What a shock! You think it will never happen to you. So many emotions were going through our head, but at the same time it explained everything. Richard, was eventually diagnosed with Stage 4 malignant Glioblastoma (GBM). The doctors told us that there WAS NO CURE. Most patients only live a year to 18 months, but he was fortunate because it was in a good spot and they could operate. We decided to fight it head on, and full force. After all, Rich had a lot to LIVE for.
The next few months was a whirlwind of doctors appointments, a craniotomy, 45 days of radiation, and chemotherapy (simultaneously), not including all the emotions you go through. Our life lwas like a roller coaster now – flipped upside down. All we could do was hold on tight to each other, and take it day by day with our faith and trust in God to lead the way. We knew there was a reason and a bigger purpose, and could not wait to see how God was going to use this or what blessings were in store. And yes I said blessings!
Two years later, and 100 lbs lighter, Rich is still here. The medical issues he has gone through because of this have been tremendous. He is on seizure medication. After his second craniotomy, he developed a staph infection and MRSA, which we have been battling for over a year with strong antibiotics which has affected his appetite. He still has dizziness, weakness, fatigue and has lost the use of his left arm due to the area of the brain that the tumor affected. BUT, thank you LORD, he is still fighting!!!! Richard A. Swinhart, YOU are my HERO!