My Husband Has a Brain Tumor

Posted by Kathy on Dec 9, 2013 in Thoughts from ME, Uncategorized |


My husband has a brain tumor.

I would like to share some of this experience with you, except that any minute I will need to get up to help him with something he is no longer able to do, like retrieve chocolate from my hidden stash in the– no, I don’t think it’s safe to reveal that. But needless to say, I don’t have much time to write. So this will be short and sweet or possibly not that sweet, because if there’s one thing I’ve learned about loving someone that has a brain tumor, it’s that it’s incredibly frustrating for both persons. Heartbreaking and frustrating. And because of that, I would like to formally apologize to the many store clerks, medical and scheduling people, and the really nice folks at Starbucks for possibly being picky, bitchy, or crying in line and holding up the latte orders behind me.

My husband has a brain tumor. And I swear, the minute we found out, the lines between my rapidly aging and out-of-control eyebrows deepened. If I didn’t schedule five minutes a week with myself and some creams and tweezers, I’d look like one of those dime store mustache/eyebrow/glasses things people buy for laughs. It’s just not as funny on a menopausal woman who’s on an emotional roller coaster. Please pass the Dramamine.

Ted was diagnosed with a serious type of brain cancer two and a half years ago. With a ton of treatment, he got to a point where his condition was considered stable, meaning it would likely not go away but had stopped growing – for a full year. It was actually flat, a formerly spiderlike tumor gripping his left motor strip eventually was as flat as a spindly pancake. Then this September, his routine every-three-month MRI showed progression, meaning it had started to grow again. Talk about getting sucker punched. We were in the first revision of a book we were writing together when this happened. I mean, we were actually at the oncologist’s office. But we had been working on a major writing project at home.

So – more treatment. And now we wait, get more tests, I watch each step he takes for stumbling, he tells me to quit watching his feet…his medicine has side effects that make us both miserable…my fatigue is significant, my back hurts from an old injury, our joint symptoms are a mile long and yet, somehow we manage to find some good times and have been the beneficiaries of some amazingly wonderful people who cross our path. People whom I call angels. Ted just calls them by their given name.

Thanks for reading. More another day.

When I get a minute.


Dec 9, 2013 at 5:11 am

I want to thank you so much for sharing what must be a painful experience for both you and Ted., who always sounds like a wonderful man.
You are both courageous and strong human beings. I love seeing your love for and trust in God.
He will take care of you …. Let us pray.

Dec 9, 2013 at 11:47 pm

Thank you, my dear. (((hugs)))

Nancy Burnell McMinn
Dec 9, 2013 at 10:07 am

Oh, Kathy – I knew something was going on but had no idea it was this. God Bless both of you.

Dec 9, 2013 at 11:46 pm

Thank you, Nancy. Yeah, Ted was agreeable to discussing it more publicly. Bless you for your kindness 🙂

Julie Otte
Dec 9, 2013 at 12:07 pm

I am so sorry to hear that it has grown. I hold you two up as an example of being married and in love. It is so refreshing to see that. I wish there was something I could do to lessen your burden. Both of you are beautiful people. Harold’s father had a brain tumor, it is not a fun thing to have. I am not that good at praying but I will try to pray for both of you.

Dec 9, 2013 at 11:45 pm

Well, we are hopeful the current treatment will keep it in check. These things are frisky, but sometimes they can be controlled. Haven’t given up!! And THANK YOU for the prayers! xo

Jerry Zezima
Dec 9, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Cathy, I hope your next piece is titled “My Husband Had a Brain Tumor” and is about the fact that it’s gone and he’s fine — so fine that he finds your hidden stash of chocolate. Until then, remember that laughter is, indeed, the best medicine. And the cheapest. And that love conquers all.

Dec 9, 2013 at 11:44 pm

Thanks, Jerry. Always in need of a laugh. You’re the king of that.

Jerry Zezima
Dec 9, 2013 at 12:55 pm

@Jerry Zezima,

Sibyl Masquelier
Dec 9, 2013 at 2:55 pm

I am so sorry. I will put you and Ted in my prayers.

Dec 9, 2013 at 11:43 pm

Thank you, Sib! Very much appreciated. We have much to pray for – and much to be happy about. ((hugs))

Dec 9, 2013 at 4:35 pm

I was so hoping to hear good news. I knew it had grown and there were new treatments. Oh I just can’t imagine how difficult this is. Wish there was something that we could do or say to help.

Dec 9, 2013 at 11:42 pm

Well, we haven’t given up yet. Still very much hoping to get to you guys, but it may shift some. I’ll email or call you soon. We have had to have enormous patience. I’m not very good at that. But maybe I’m getting better. xo to you guys!

Terry Marotta
Dec 9, 2013 at 5:38 pm

Kathy when some of us – I should say I – met you two in June I knew right away there was something special about you – and not because you told me about his tumor at the salad bar that first night … I have thought of you so often since then and relish each picture I see of you two in Facebook. Praying hard for you, at this season and beyond…

Dec 9, 2013 at 11:41 pm

Oh, Terry, thank you. We are hoping that Ted will be well enough for this year’s conference. Still hopeful! He has great genetics. ((hugs))

Sandra Brown Bisson
Dec 9, 2013 at 5:53 pm

Thank you Kathy for sharing. You know I love you both and you mean more to me than you will ever know. Both of you will always be in my prayers. Be gentle on yourself. You are the angel.

Dec 9, 2013 at 11:40 pm

Sandy, you are so kind – YOU are an angel. God bless you!!!!!

Connie Valliere
Dec 9, 2013 at 6:10 pm

I love you.

Dec 9, 2013 at 11:39 pm

I love you, too. And Ted loves you. Still hoping we can get up to your part of Maine – we owe you lunch! xo

Dec 9, 2013 at 7:47 pm

I love you. Your strength is amazing. And your sweetness more so.

I’m gonna think of you every day. Which will be up from every 3rd day or so. But it will make me happier and that way I can send you my most positive of thoughts. I wish there was more I could do. If there is, please let me know.

I love you. Ooops, said that already. No matter, I’ll repeat myself for that particular message.

Dec 9, 2013 at 11:38 pm

I love you too, sweetie. Thank you so much. I feel the love, believe me. xox

Mar 1, 2014 at 5:21 pm

Hey Pat! I don’t know that I ever answered this, and I don’t even know how to use my own blog – ugh. But THANK YOU for the very kind comment. Love you!

Douglas Wayne Wieboldt
Dec 9, 2013 at 9:46 pm

Kathy, having lost my entire family (mom, dad, bro, sis), I don’t have any sympathy for me. I still have my life partner, while yours is threatened and I am so sorry for the two of you.
I often reflect on how fortunate I am even with the losses in my family and in my adopted families over the years of the AIDS crises. All of that pales in comparison to the thought of losing my Guy.
I always loved seeing the two of you together in the store. Your bond is palpable, and I hope that you don’t let that miserable tumor get in the way of it, and that they can slow it back down…
Miss you both.

Dec 9, 2013 at 11:37 pm

Thank you, Doug! You are gold to us. Miss you & love you. We still go to SB fairly often – hope we cross paths there soon. God bless you!!!!!! Such a good human.

Mar 1, 2014 at 5:20 pm

Hey Doug! I just found this kind, lovely reply & don’t think I answered it. So THANK YOU!!!!!! Miss you, too.

Mary Kay McMahon
Dec 9, 2013 at 11:34 pm

Oh Kathy, I’m so sorry! I’m sure you joined the “learning things you never wanted to know” club more than 2 years ago, and now you’re in a whole new phase. Know that you are surrounded by the love and prayers of so many people, some of whom only know you through your writing. We’re with you in spirit, lifting you and Ted up. Just take it one day, one hour, one moment at a time. Peace.

Dec 11, 2013 at 1:47 am

Thank you so much for your kindness!!!!!!

Mar 1, 2014 at 5:19 pm

Hi, Mary Kay. An extremely belated THANK YOU for the kind comment. I am woefully ignorant of how to use my own blog. Sorry to be so late in a reply! ((hugs))

Cathy Turney
Dec 10, 2013 at 1:01 am

I am so glad you shared this, Kathy. Now everyone will know how amazing you are. You’ve soldiered on with wit, humor, and concern for others ever since this ordeal began, and only a few knew what you were going through. Prayer works, and you and Ted are in mine every single day. Love, Cathy

Dec 10, 2013 at 3:53 am

I love it that we are in your heart! Such a beautiful place. God bless you…xo

Mar 1, 2014 at 5:17 pm

A very belated THANK YOU!!! For so much, Cathy. (((hugs)))

Vicki G.
Dec 10, 2013 at 1:39 am

just holding you guys in my heart.

Dec 10, 2013 at 3:52 am

Thank you, my friend. xo



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