How tumors changed our lives

“Who are you and what have you done with Jim? You must have a brain tumor,” I said in 2002.

Jim was very predictable, so when he did something out of character, I knew we had a problem. He became more erratic, and one day, I compiled two lists—Old Jim and New Jim—showing how he had changed. He agreed he did not do things he once had, but did not seem to care.

In 2011, Jim had a seizure; a CT scan showed brain cancer in three lobes.

The neurosurgeon explained the nature of glioblastoma. He could remove some of the cancer, but Jim might not survive the surgery or ever walk or talk again.

I explained Old Jim and New Jim to the neurosurgeon and asked if this tumor could be the cause. He said the cancer had only been growing for a few weeks, but there was something in the right front lobe that was not glioblastoma and could be a slow-growing tumor. He asked about Jim’s family history—his uncle had benign brain tumors.

Jim survived the surgery and treatment.

A few months later, Jim wanted pray together. “The treatment must have destroyed your brain tumor,” I said, meaning the tumor that started in 2002. Old Jim was back.

Nine months after the glioblastoma diagnosis, Jim died peacefully at home, his dog by his side.

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