Wake Up Call
June 20, 2016 was a normal day at work. Around 2pm I found myself in the shop working on a project of great importance time. So frustration sparked when I begain to feel flushed. In seconds, my arm started tingling and my left ear started to ring. Frustration turned to fear as I sat down and told my friend and co-worker, Axel. I saw alarm spread across his face when he looked at me. Before taking another breat he called two other nearby friends, Tim and Adam, for help.
I never saw them scramble to my aid. But when I opened my eyes nex what I did see was the ceiling of an ambulance and a couple unfamiliar but kindly faces. Thier efficient and professional conversation broke thru a fog and I realized I must have passed out.
A couple hours and a couple hospitals later I found myself in the excellent care of some of the dedicated staff of the Neuro team at the Cleveland Clinic. From there, a nightmare of sorts unfolded. MRI’s, CAT scans and other electronic testing revealed a malignant lump in my right temporal lobe.
Over the next 4 days, I lost count of all the needles, tubes, machines, wires and faces hovering near my bed. Amidst it all was a heart poonding with fear as the culprit of my condition was finally revealed. 'Glioblastoma' sounded evil but 'brain tumor' was truly crushing. The surgery was scheduled mere hours later.
On awakening I concluded much of my fear must have been surgically removed. I was alive, which only I doubted before lost conciousness. I even began to feel hopeful. I was in good hands.
More testing followed, a menu of drugs to mitigate the brain swelling and further seizures, then even more drugs to mitigate the side effects of the first few.
Then came meetings with some of the most compassionate and attentive doctors and nurses I’ve ever met. They told me what the near future had in store for me. Chemo, Radiation, fatigue, sickness… My far future might be counted in months on the fingers and toes of both hands and both feet, but that really would depend on my body, my attitude, and my support.
That support was amazing. More than 20 different people (co-workers, friends, family) happily volunteered on sometimes very short notice to help. They got me to radiation treatments, doctor’s appointments, the grocery store, and anywhere else I needed to go over the next weeks whenever I asked. The chemo- and radiation teams from the Cleveland Clinic always responded the same day whenever I called. The gave me all the time I needed and listened to everything I said.
That was last year. And while my treatment has changed and progresses, my support and treatment still give me great hope. But beyond my little world there are many whose challenges are greater and have no such hope.
So we are back again this year with our 5K HeadForTheCure team ‘Wake-Up-Call’.
Please consider walking with me. Or perhaps just sponsoring me or any of my team members. It was a fun time last year and this year means even more.
I look forward to seeing you there at Edgewater park on October 7th.
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