My brother’s journey

My brother was diagnosed with Glioblastoma on Mother’s Day of 2016.

We immediately booked a flight to MD Anderson in Houston. The journey there was incredibly difficult because my brother began having his first seizures in the airport. I went with my sister-in-law because she could not do it alone and our own parents were too old to make the trip.

From that moment on, life only got worse. After arrival in Houston my brother did have brain surgery and Dr. Sujit Prabhu was able to remove 90% of the tumor. Unfortunately my brother had severe side effects and had to stay in ICU for at least a week. At this point I had to leave to come back home and finish the school year as a teacher. As soon as I was done I went back and seeing him is a moment I will never forget. He was swollen and head shaven from surgery. When I saw him the first thing my brother said to the nurse was, “Allison you are here! Isn’t she beautiful.” My brother had never said anything like that to me.

Well he spent the next 3 months in Houston for chemotherapy. He was able to come back home three days before our mother’s 80th birthday. He was able to come to her birthday celebration but he was not the same and very unstable mentally and physically.

If you know much about Glioblastoma, you know that it can return very quickly. Of course his did. My family made the decision that he was unable to go back to MD Anderson due to flying, etc. So we went to Duke. They were great and did all they could for us.

Fast forward to November and our 84 year old father fell ill. His Alzheimers became severe. Although it was very difficult we did spend that Christmas together. My father passed away on January 5. My brother was at the funeral but barely. He had to use a walker. His peripheral vision was gone and we were just glad to get through the day.

After this point my brother slowly got worse and we lost him February 27, 2017. Needless to say I was devastated. Losing my father and brother within 6 weeks of each other is probably the hardest thing I have ever dealt with. With that said, we know he is out of pain and back to laughing and watching football with my daddy in heaven.

— Allison Mitchell

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