My name is Scott Warhurst. I’m 52, father of three, and for the past 5 years I’ve been fortunate enough to be in a relationship with Mary, the love of my life. We – like many of you – have common hopes and dreams at the midpoint of our lives. Both of us running solo businesses, attending school performances, and enjoying our lives with friends and family. That’s how life is. Until it isn’t.
Like virtually every other man on the planet, I don’t go to the doctor at the first sign of an ache or pain. So, when the headaches began, honestly, I didn’t think much of it. It was the Christmas holidays (2017), so I chalked it up to stress. A few weeks later, though, with the headaches a constant occurrence, strangely, I began forgetting how to spell. Every email was a challenge. I knew words were misspelled, but I was baffled as to how to fix them. I had recently started a new medicine, so surely that was the issue, I thought. At the end of January, I had a client call to handle routine business. Two minutes into the meeting I knew there was a problem. I was unable to think of simple words, maintain a train of thought, and basically sounded like I was on drugs the whole time. With that, I knew I needed to go to the doctor.
I scheduled an MRI for the following week. Two days later, the headaches were so bad I went to the ER. I didn’t have a good feeling about it but because I’ve never been one to be sick and had even quipped to my son not to worry, I don’t get sick. In hindsight, I guess I was asking for it :) After a quick CT scan, the ER doctor informed me that I had a brain tumor. That was the sentence that changed our world. It was February 1, 2018.
Six days later, I was on a table surrounded by a talented team of doctors and nurses that successfully removed my tumor. I was filled with hope as they told me how lucky we were that I did not lose any brain or body function as they removed an excellent resection of the tumor. Then Mr. Wonderful entered the room. This was the doctor that performed the biopsy on the tumor. The first words out of his mouth were, “Well, what you have is a Glioblastoma Multiform Level 4 Cancer, most people with this type of cancer survive 12 to 18 months.” It’s probably obvious why I call him Mr. Wonderful. (I should say that Dr. McLaughlin — AKA Mr. Wonderful — turned out to be my favorite doctor).
As you can imagine, it was hard for Mary and me to wrap our head around that diagnoses. While the surgery scar healed, we began a whirlwind of treatments that included 30 days of radiation and chemo treatments, plus lesser quantity but more potent chemo for monthly and bimonthly MRI scans. There was a lot of crying and talking with the family during treatments, trying to make sense of our “new normal”.
Based on other patient results, there was some hope that we could extend our timeline up to five years. However, those hopes were dashed on November 14th when a scan result confirmed the tumor was growing again. During that same doctor visit, I was sent for a CT due to shortness of breath and exhaustion. We feared it may be a blood clot. However, we were told that I was in AFIB and Congestive Heart Failure. I spent six days in the hospital while Mary explored the cancer options, including trials, but unfortunately we were told that we had exhausted all options. At that point, the oncologist informed us that she expects we have 4-6 months.
As we prepare for the challenges ahead, Mary and I are honored to be chosen to be the recipient for the Helping One Guy Dinner Honors for the month of February. We hope that you will join us for this life celebration.