The past couple weeks have been tense (and at times intense). It turns out, it's hard to relax or do much else when navigating delicate issues like low platelets and significant blood clots in the lungs (in the midst of a brain cancer battle). The past two weeks have included several days in the hospital, the wrap up of radiation treatment, another platelet transfusion, the challenges of blood thinner meds, and many weak days for Josh as his body continues to try and balance all this out. Due to all this, he took a break from chemo pills for a short bit.
Thankfully, we were able to continue and complete radiation treatments. And while we celebrated the end of radiation, there's still a lot on our minds and hearts.
In the midst of trying to hope desperately, or as a friend recently shared, trying to have "desperate confidence," I started to feel like a rubber band. At first, I am lined right up next to hope, but as challenges come, I feel myself pulling back further and further back from this hope. The tension builds and I feel at any moment I'm going to snap and going flying far away. Then, right as I start to really dwell on the tension of the situation, God creatively brings a new image to mind.
Instead of a rubber band, the idea of a bow and arrow appears. While there's tension in that imagery also, it's different. Instead of feeling like I'm losing control and flying away from hope, I instead begin to see the bow and arrow (and tension) as a way to focus on a bigger target – an all-knowing and loving creative, God.
Diving a little deeper, I begin to realize that if my target is having Josh feel better today or tomorrow, or trying to solve the cancer problem with the perfect doctor, aim or medicine, I'll get pretty exhausted from this non-stop game. But if instead, I allow God to be my focus, my aim, and my target there is much more freedom.
I know, sounds so easy, right? Not always.
But in this process, there is freedom to feel the tension and the stress, and freedom in knowing that I can shoot all my tensions up, out and over, trusting that they will land right in the center of God's love, compassion and care (even if my aim feels out of control). This freedom doesn't take away the tension or the worries that creep back in so easily but it does continue to provide a refuge in the storm.
As always, thanks for your continued encouragement, prayers and support. Our next MRI to see what has worked is still several weeks away. Please continue to pray for good platelet counts and continued strength for Josh and wisdom for us as we navigate conversations and next steps.
In the middle of all of this, we're so thankful for some great moments and highlights. These come with well-timed food deliveries, unexpected gifts, cards and time spent with family (this week Erin and Zion) who help lighten the load, laugh with us, sit with us, and simply lift us up in many ways.
But as for you, O man of God, flee from these things; aim at and pursue righteousness [true goodness, moral conformity to the character of God], godliness [the fear of God], faith, love, steadfastness, and gentleness. 1 Timothy 6:11 (AMP)
In April of 2019, we learned that Josh had a large brain tumor, a glioblastoma, in the middle of his brain. At the age of 41, this was quite the surprise. Josh sadly passed away after a short battle on September 30, 2019.
View his obituary
These past months, we've navigated the complexities of treatment, and hospice care and learned that there wasn't really treatment and that in Josh's case, the tumor was inoperable.
We're sharing our hearts and experience as we navigate this unexpected turn and God's goodness in the middle of it. We hope to encourage others by sharing our story.
Thank you for following along with our journey even in grief.
Feel free to message us.
If you'd like to donate to medical expenses, here's a link or you can email us questions
More about Josh & Jenn
Jenn Brown is the author of this site, a loving wife and communications guru.
Josh Brown most recently served on staff at Fellowship Bible Church in NWA as a Springdale Community Pastor. We've served in ministry in Missouri, Texas, Virginia and Nevada.
Cancer has been big part of our story. Josh has battled cancer three times already with the first to being non-Hodgkins lymphoma at ages 15 and 25 and the third thyroid cancer last year and a GBM, brain tumor this year.
Jenn's mom, Carol passed away from breast cancer 21 years ago and her father also went through treatments for Chronic Leukemia (CLL) in 2017 and is doing well now.
Friends & Family
We have been so encouraged by friends and family. Thank you for the practical ways you are caring for us! We love you all! This is just few photo highlights of some meaningful moments.