(Warning slightly depressing, feeling post)
After a casual evening of hanging with friends, enjoying dinner and time on the back porch. I now am sitting here, attempting to write, instead of doing more Google searches of GBM – the worst brain cancer option for someone.
Josh is asleep after a busy day. He went to bed exhausted. But really, he is exhausted most of the time right now. We just finished our fourth week of radiation and chemo pills. His doctor said it is normal to feel like this (really, really tired) 18-20 days in to treatment.
I keep searching and re-searching the internet hoping for a different answer to my question. More specifically, that question right now is, “how long can someone survive with GBM if they don’t have surgery?” According to many sites, it’s not long, typically. In an exceptional case, someone with GBM might see five years but on average, 12-15 months. I know sharing this news is just all-around depressing. But it is what I’ve been seeing over and over.
People say you should never "Google" your symptoms because you’ll have the worst of whatever you think. In this case, we actually have the worst, so that’s tricky.
As I sit here in our quiet house, I can’t help but wonder about the future. It is possible the data I've found online is true and is what's in store. It’s also very possible that God is working a miracle right at this moment to zap Josh's tumor – to give us a story that is beyond comprehension. As I try to hope in the second option, I still have trouble believing that is the story we might tell. Some might say, this is the crack in my hope. If I just believe hard enough, pray more specifically or really trust that God will heal – the story could be different. Others will just read this, and say extra prayer for my peace, strength, etc (thank you).
Truth is, I don’t want to face the reality that Josh could not be here with me in the future – no matter when that is. But yet I wonder if some part of me needs to consider the possibility? (Maybe. Maybe not.)
It's human nature to want to fight for survival – our own or even someone else. This makes it hard at times to truly "let go and let God," even if we can't change anything.
So how do I make the most of this day, even if I hate it and what it might mean for later? I say goodnight, hop in bed with my husband and watch him sleep for a few more midnight moments. I lift up another prayer and cry out to God. In the same way I have many times. I think back through the day (and week) reflecting on the many times I've helped Josh navigate challenging and confusing moments and trust that in the same way God is with me (and us) -- guiding, helping and protecting us in these same moments.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. – Psalm 46:1
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.