John's Story

John's Story

January 1st started out like any other day, but with a little more excitement as the kids and I were secretly getting stuff together for my husband's 35th birthday the next day. However he woke up with a headache and did not feel good so he recommended we postpone our plans. He went back to bed but woke up hours later in even more pain and had started seeing and hearing things that were not there.

Over the next four days we were in and out of walk-in clinics and the ER, thinking it was a bad reaction to a new medication. Finally on January 7th a CT scan revealed some swelling which was causing mid line shift. Off to Edmonton we went for surgery, to be told that John had an inoperable grade 4 GBM.

A couple weeks later radiation and chemo began and my husbands health began to deteriorate by the day. After treatments finished, symptoms started to improve so we took advantage and hopped on a plane to Istanbul. It was an amazing week, like how our lives were before New Year's Day. 
A month after we returned John's health took a rapid decline as depression began to sink in. Unable to get out of bed or participate in daily activities, he realized he needed to seek some mental health assistance. Starting new meds on top of a whole regime of others meant John was kept in the hospital for observation until the right dose and type was found.
However new symptoms arose which prevented him from ever coming home. Long and numerous sezuires began, then the inability to walk slowly crept on us.
Then just out of the blue, as I sat with him, one night John passed away in his sleep, just under 6 months of being diagnosed.
What a tough journey it was for all of us, especially John. My husband was an extremely healthy person before this. Never spent a day in the hospital, never missed more than 2 or 3 days of work in his life. To have something like this rob my husband from being a dad, a husband, a friend, a brother, a son, and an uncle is something that seems cruel and unfair but we are grateful for the time we have gotten with him.
Many thanks to John's wife Jolene for sharing John's story. This cannot have been easy to write. We would like to remind Jolene and anyone reading this that we are here with emotional support: 1-800-265-5106.

< Back to all stories: In Your Words

Share This

Featured Story

Grey Matters - Blogger Tuesdays

Have you seen our blog lately? Read about people who are making a difference in the brain tumour community from our staff and volunteers to our donors, funded researchers, and medical experts. You will find advice, news, information, and interesting stories about people affected by a brain tumour. Who doesn't love a good story? You won't want to miss the inside scoop Grey Matters has in store for you!

Learn more


Roy and the Gamma Knife – A Happy Tale

I had headaches, almost daily, for 10 years or more. It was a rare day if I did not have a headache. I used to joke that I should own...

Learn more

Courtney’s Story of Stability

Stability. It’s a strange concept when you have what it known to be a progressive, life long illness. You hear the words, “Your tumour...

Learn more

Upcoming Events

  • 19/Apr/2018: Virtual Support Group East: Virtual Support Group for Eastern Canada... Learn more >
  • 20/Apr/2018: Caregiver Wellness Day: Royal Oaks Golf Club, Moncton, NB... Learn more >
  • 25/Apr/2018: Toronto Support Group: Meets at Wellspring Westerkirk House at Sunnybrook, Toronto, ON... Learn more >
  • 25/Apr/2018: Ottawa Support Group: Meets at the Maplesoft Centre at 1500 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa, ON.... Learn more >
View All Events >
Thank you to the donors whose contributions make this website and all programs, services and research possible.

Copyright © 2018 Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada. Charitable Registration #BN118816339RR0001