Posted May 2012
In February 2007, Lori, our then sixteen year old son Josh, and I were in China adopting our precious 19 month old baby girl, Joyanna. Although Lori had suffered from migraines all her life, the headaches were increasing. We attributed them to older age and medication sometimes helped. In May 2007 we went to a local emergency room, but they simply treated my wife for a migraine, even when I insisted this was not a typical headache. Then on June 13, 2007 (Lori’s birthday), another painful headache began. That Friday I took my dear wife to a doctor friend who performs occipital blocks for migraines. After the procedure he took me aside, mentioned that the block was not successful and advised me to take my wife to a different hospital which had the facilities to treat brain issues. He also put us in touch with a neurosurgeon, believing there was a substantial problem. That evening, following a CT scan, we learned that Lori had a peach-sized tumor in her brain. Subsequent tests the next day confirmed that the primary tumor was in her chest. Since thymic carcinoma is one of the lesser known and treated cancers, it took several days for a final diagnosis. Lori’s oncologist worked directly with a well-known cancer research center so her care could be given here, rather than moving out of state. Brain surgeries, chest surgery, port implantation and later removal, significant chemotherapy, whole brain radiation, chest radiation and brain radio-surgery were all part of her treatment plan. By January 2011 we knew that all options, medically speaking, had been exhausted. Since the recurring metastasis was in her brain (the primary tumor never returned), the last few months of her life were painful and difficult. She was a brave and confident woman of faith, loving her three sons, little girl, and me in spite of all she was experiencing. On April 13, 2011, my best friend, beautiful wife and love, Lori, left this world for a better one. Her legacy of faith and love will continue. May all who read this find strength to endure this challenging chapter of your lives.