Allan Whiteman and I married after college and moved to Colorado after he had finished optometry school. It was shortly after our move and him starting work that he began getting headaches. We were hopeful it was just stress migraines or sinus problems. Even had his ears cleaned out hoping for relief. Alas, he threw up one day and a CT Scan showed a golf ball sized mass.
Tumor. It's a scary word for anyone. Brain tumor for some reason was even more frightening. He had brain surgery just a few days after the tumor was found and though not all of it could be removed, we were hopeful that it would not return. This was July 2007.
We tried some supplements, changed our diet and then in 2008 the neurosurgeon was seeing the tumor evolve into a contained nut shape that he felt confident in removing. So Allan underwent his second craniotomy.
2009 silently crept by though he had a few seizures here and there and we were starting to relax in that maybe he had beat this monster. But the end of the year we snapped into reality when the doctor called and said they were seeing some growth. The second word any cancer patient dreads-CHEMO. He would start around Christmas.
A twist in all the sadness and something that tells me we are not alone in all this was the events that followed the DAY after Allan was told he would be needing the chemo. That was when I found out I was unexpectedly pregnant!
So 2010 we went through the nausea and fatigue together. It is uncanny the similarities in the side effects of chemo and the unpleasantries that go along with pregnancies. But we were occupied with so much that it kept our minds off the tumor somewhat. Through this year it would appear that the little pest was losing the battle and the much awaited end of chemo was approaching!
And then January 2011 Allan had a seizure and the MRI revealed a much more aggressive tumor present. Allan has now endured three surgeries in the brain. This last one, not surprisingly, the most difficult to recover. He followed up with 6 weeks of radiation. All this effort and the doctors said they still see the tumor.
Allan fought long and hard, but began having a more difficult struggle in August of 2011. We looked to hospice with the hope that he could recover. He was unable to do so and passed on August 8, 2011 with his loved ones by his side. We continue to love him with all our hearts, and we know that he watches over us all, especially his one year old daughter.
Please always remember his incredible happy spirit......