Crystal and I have been married for 15 years. She has raised my three children during deployments with the military, and she has been the backbone of our family as we started and expanded our family business. Three years ago, she was diagnosed with a stage two oligodendraglioma. Most people would be devastated by something like this, but she took it in stride and continued to press on. She had gone through two open craniotomies and we were tumor free for nearly a year and a half until July. During a routine MRI, the image showed that the tumor was returning and after consulting with physicians, they said that we could play the waiting game as oligodendragliomas tend to grow slowly, and we didn’t want her to have to go through another surgery if it was not completely necessary. On Friday, September 29, I stayed home from work because I was not feeling well. I slept in and asked Crystal to wake me a few hours later. I woke about an hour after the time that I had asked and came downstairs to find her unresponsive on the kitchen floor. She was air lifted to Barrow neurological institute where a new MRI showed substantial growth since July. She was scheduled at that time for her third craniotomy which was undertaken on Thursday, October 19th. She came through the surgery with flying colors, but we received the news that her tumor had advanced to a Glioblastoma. This is one of the most aggressive tumors that you can have. The prognosis varies based on age, location of the tumor, and the type of treatments that it responds to, but we are going to have a very grueling and expensive fight ahead of us. Even with our insurance in place, the medical bills are starting to pile up, and we are at risk of losing everything. We are in the process of downsizing our home (for cost and safety) and cutting all un-necessary expenses, but it still seems daunting. I hate the thought of asking others to help with our problems, but I just don’t know what else to do. We will begin chemotherapy and radiation treatment in 3-6 weeks. She has to be at Barrow, 45 minutes away from our home, every weekday during this process. This is going to have an effect on our ability to run the business and my ability to work within the business. If you can help, please do.
- Tom Greive
- Julissa Garcia