There is no easy way to share hard news. Yet we have to often. Today is that day for us.
Yesterday, we sat in the oncology doctor’s office stunned as she delivered the news that Josh’s tumor is one that starts in the brain and is highly aggressive.
More specifically, the cancerous tumor is called a Glioblastoma (also called GBM)*. The tumor is located in the middle of Josh’s brain with the most significant part in a location that they do not recommend operating on for fear of causing neurological damage. This means it cannot be removed surgically and that managing it happens with radiation and chemo pills.
This is not the diagnosis we want to hear. And it is not a light story to retell, message, text or post. It’s tough all around.
As I sit here looking for the words to say, I almost feel blank. This is most likely the shock phrase of grief which easily bounces between anger, sorrow, disbelief and more.
So, what does this mean?
We’ll keep praying, of course, and hoping for a miracle. We’ll also take the next steps that the doctor has for us, which begins soon with six weeks of radiation and a chemo pill. The radiation is the primary treatment. The hope with this plan is that it will help to keep the tumor from growing. As treatment happens, we’ll see how the tumor responds to determine future steps. However, treatment is not expected to get rid of the tumor. While, we trust and value the doctors here in NWA, we are planning a trip to the Mayo Clinic to seek additional counsel, just in case.
At this point, I didn't ask the question of how long. Instead, I see this as we are here now so let's take steps and enjoy all the moments we can.
As this news will land on many on May the fourth, I can’t help but think of Star Wars. While goofy, it is also fitting. There appears to be little hope with news like this, but we hold on to it as tight as we can and move forward one day, treatment and step at a time.
We all want more time with Josh, me more than anyone. I love our adventures together both big and small. This really puts a damper on my plans. But I am thankful for our story even today.
For now, I'll ask that you Join me in taking a BIG deep breath as we trust in the full force of God’s goodness be with us.
* Researching this can lead you down lots of hard paths. Here's a site we recommend that covers a lot of the same information we've heard from doctors and our treatment plan.
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.