Jerry Dunaway’s Story, Part 2

Codi is a brain cancer warrior and offering her experience to the Chris Elliott Fund blog. She is a patient advocate for her brother Jerry Dunaway who at 29 years old was diagnosed with Glioblastoma brain cancer. Please join us and follow her story and experience as a patient advocate and brain cancer warrior. If you missed part 1 of her story, you can find it here.

The Hospital

I walk into the emergency room and he is barely even responding to his surroundings.  The nurse asks us to step out so they can check his temperature.  Well they did it the not so fun way and he came alive. We all laughed in the hallway and said he is still in there.  This moment sticks out in my head since the beginning.

‘The Monster’

Unfortunately though the blood was covering his brain so fast; it caused him to stroke. And by the time they got the first two drains in they were not enough, so they had to go to surgery to do a craniotomy to relive some pressure and put in two more drains.  There it was, there was the monster.  As we all wait, pacing, and praying in the ICU waiting room, the neurosurgeon comes in. Our family and friends all crowded around to hear the news. He said there was a tumor and pathology would confirm it in the morning.  He said I don’t need a pathology report to tell you it’s not good, and it’s inoperable.  Jerry’s tumor at this time was 8in and the doctor took out 5in.  So we were stuck with three.

Jerry’s Tumor

The tumor is located in his corpus collasum, which is a tunnel that runs between the left and right side of the brain.  This is where some of your major functions are located. Jerry was in a coma in ICU, with some very AWESOME nurses.  We begin to settle into the ICU waiting room, since we were not sure what the next minutes, hours, or days would take us. Thursday comes and the neurosurgeon informs us that there is nothing more they can do for Jerry, “he will be a vegetable and you need to think about taking him off the ventilator, I will only allow for him to stay on it until Tuesday.”

We will continue Codi’s story of her brother’s brain tumor next week and continue Codi’s & Jerry’s story including seeing the neuro-oncologist, navigating treatment and insurance, day as part of Codi’s guest blogging series on the Chris Elliott Fund blog.