(Post from Paul) LOOK: Pathology Report

To all our loving friends:

On the one hand, I don’t see how the news could have been worse; on the other, I can’t imagine that there’s anyone in the world who would have taken it better than Pam did.

At Ten O’Clock this morning, three of us– Pam, Angelique and I –met with Pam’s surgeon, Dr. Mark Johnson and his associates in the Neurosurgical Offices of Brigham & Women’s Hospital.  Dr. Johnson was kind, and calm, and patient, and gentle as he contrasted for us the MRI that had been taken of Pam’s brain immediately before surgery with the one that was taken afterwards.  He showed us how large the tumor had been before he’d operated and how only the tiniest sliver of tumor remained.

Then he explained to us that the pathology report had verified the indications he’d seen during surgery: Pam’s tumor was aggressive and malignant.  He said that the tumor was classified as a glioma and that gliomas are generated by the brain itself and therefore can not be cured by surgery as there will always been microscopic particles of cancer that can’t be removed.  Dr. Johnson said that gliomas themselves are classified as Stage II, Stage III and Stage IV and that Pam had a Stage IV glioma.  He further explained that Pam would be receiving radiation treatments (which weren’t likely to cause discomfort) as well as chemotherapy treatments (which might be difficult) as a means to retard the growth of the glioma.  In response to my question, Dr. Johnson said that further surgeries might be necessary depending upon the size of future tumors.

Angelique couldn’t hold back her tears, but Pam was completely stoic.  “We’ll do what we have to do as we have to do it.  Everything comes one step at a time.”

Dr. Johnson then made a personal observation, “I’ve been in this business a long time,” he said, “but I’ve never had more calls asking about a patient.  You are one very popular person.”

“I don’t see why that should be,” Pam responded.  She is, of course, the only person who doesn’t understand why she is as loved as she is.

When the doctor left we were given an appointment with the oncologists at Dana Farber to get her started on radiation and chemo.  That appointment is on August 10th of next week.  We also made an appointment for Pam to get an MRI in November and another appointment later to have Dr. Johnson read us the results.

Pam, however, wasn’t interested in thinking about appointments in November or next week.  Her thoughts were on what was immediately up ahead.

“I want to get out of here,” she told us, “and I want to get an ice coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts.  When we get home, I want Liqa to get us lunch, and then, when we’re done eating, I’m going to take a nap.”

When I tucked her in for her nap I kissed her and we prayed.  “Dear God,” she said, “Thank You for keeping the light on in my heart.”

Is there anything more I can say about the woman I’m married to?

With Gratitude,



About pamvbradford

I am a fifty seven year old banker specializing in government banking. I have a beautiful twenty-one year old daughter and a wonderful husband. My husband and I recently downsized, and purchased a beautiful condo in Watertown MA. We love our new home. I know I am a very fortunate person. I am surrounded by supportive family members, by supportive coworkers and by the marvelous support of our faith community at Sacred Heart Parish in Lexington MA. As the Psalm says, "There is nothing that I lack." My whole life changed on July 18, 2012 when I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The news came from out of the blue. My tumor was removed by the marvelous Dr. Mark Johnson and his wonderful team of surgeons at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. The surgery truly was a miracle. I couldn't possibly have gotten better care. Now the 'easy' part is over. The tough part is to learn to walk with God in the midst of danger and surprise. My mood shifts from gratitude to fear and back again but I know God has a purpose for me. There's a reason I didn't die on the operating table. There's something that God wants me to do. This blog is my effort to share with others, with all of you, what it is that I am learning as I put one foot ahead of the other, live each day as it comes, and discover what it is that God has to teach me. Your prayers keep me going. Your love comforts me. Your knowledge and faith guide and teach me. God bless you all!
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3 Responses to (Post from Paul) LOOK: Pathology Report

  1. Julie Lancaster says:

    One day at at time, one set of footprints in the sand, carried until there are two sets again! With love and care, Julie

  2. Jean Lancaster says:

    You guys are amazing and are continually in our prayers. Love, Jean

  3. Kathleen Flett says:

    Pam, I love your attitude. It is up to God when we leave this planet, not doctors or tumors. I have a favorite line from “A Course in Miracles,” it reads: “If we knew who walks beside us on the path that we have chosen, fear would be impossible.” God does have a plan for your life and I know that you and your family are very close to Him now. Love you.

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