Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I have been absent and have been trying to wrap my head around this.
I know I needed to write this out, explain it, deal with it. Mostly I have been
avoiding it.

My good friend Josh who I had made an earlier post about:
has lost his battle with cancer.

Josh passed away friday June 18th while with his mom, wife, sister and one of his younger brothers.

Josh and I have been friends for a few years. More years then it seems like, in those years we grew really close and had a great friendship.

Josh found out in October of 2009 that he had glioblastoma multiforme ( stage 4 brain cancer.)
The prior summer he was suffering from really bad headaches and at the age of 25 no one thought anything of it. It was
just a headache. He visited the hospital it was so painful and again just a headache. Nearing the end of October just days after his 26th birthday josh got out of the shower and said he felt his arm flinging in an upward motion towards his face, when he looked though, his arm wasn't moving. As he described this was pretty terrifying and he stood up to go to Alyssa ( his girlfriend at the time ) and when he stood he began to have a seizure. He fell onto the floor just missing the table and he couldn't speak or move. Luckily Alyssa heard him and called 911. Josh had never had a seizure before so they did a CAT scan, MRI, X-rays etc.
When it came back it was nothing anyone had expected. A brain tumor. This particular type of tumor is more likely in males but normally males over the age of 50.
It was already at stage 4 when they found it, it was
inoperable meaning they can operate but it won't save him. They had handed him a death sentence. Everyone had hoped for a miracle but I did my research, I spoke to a friend who does these operations and knew it was only a matter of time.

Josh was told he wouldn't make it until Christmas. After his first operation he was so positive and upbeat he had an attitude that made you think " maybe he can beat this ". His fingers were a little shaky and he now used a walker, aside from that though he was the same old Josh. We hung out all day and laughed and talked and never really spoke about the cancer.

It was only about a month later and Josh had become paralyzed on his whole left side. With the help of a bridal shop, radio station, Sears and a few other places josh and Alyssa were married in the hospital on December 16th. Their daughter was due Dec 26, his daughter is why he fought so hard. He had to meet her.

About 2 weeks later Josh needed another immediate surgery, he had begun to lose his vision.
He first opted out of it but it got to the point where he didn't have the choice.
He was afraid he'd wake up completely paralyzed or worse.

His daughter Leighland was born Jan 3rd and Josh completely lost his vision the next day. I'm so glad he got to see her being born and hold her.

Every week that I went to see Josh he was worse. Talking less, conscious less, losing weight, losing his hair, losing his hearing. If it's something you've never seen someone go through I don't think you can fully understand it. Some weeks he didn't even know I was there. He started to look completely different. I remember thinking at the beginning,aside from the incision he looks the same. He didn't look like he had cancer. Once he hit 90 lbs, lost most of his hair and the medication made his face swell you wouldn't even know it was the same person. It was heartbreaking.

Josh was told near the end of April there was nothing more they could do and he was losing his battle. He wanted to go home. He moved home with his wife and their daughter and his wife's parents but the noise was too painful in the city and made his headaches even worse. So Josh moved in with his family and had spent the last 6 weeks there.

When he called me a couple weeks ago he could barely talk or hear anything I was saying but he made some jokes, asked about the wedding and the kids.

I received a call June 16 from his wife's stepmother telling me Josh was rushed to the hospital and the doctors said this was it. I drove up at 10 pm and stayed as long as I could. His mom had been awake for so long and I urged her it was ok to sleep that I wouldn't leave him and I would wake her if anything happened. As a mother I understood her not wanting to miss a second. My heart truly went out to her even though I was losing him too, I was not losing the same Josh she was.
I held his hand and stroked his hair. He didn't look like Josh anymore. He had an oxygen mask on making it impossible to understand what he was saying. I felt so bad you could see how much energy it took him to say one simple thing and then I couldn't hear it. I removed the mask a few times when i saw him trying to speak. He said
hi and thank you, I'm uncomfortable, he said ow! a lot but didn't want the pain medication because it made him sleep. He also said I love you and I told him that I loved him too, that he was a great friend and that I always appreciated our friendship.

His wife called me on friday to tell me he was struggling for breath and she told him
It's ok Josh, you can go. We're all here and we love you. With that he took his final breath and was gone.

I spoke at his funeral along with his father and best friend. I had been there with him from the beginning of all of this right until I carried his coffin into the hearse and let go of that handle. I let my fingers trace alongside until he was all the way inside.To watch him deteriorate, to watch him become someone he wasn't, to watch him
dying was absolutely one of the hardest experiences of my life. Josh was such a fun-loving guy. He was the kind of person you wish all your friends were like. He was so selfless and put up one amazing fight. When he was given 2 months he made it 8. He was the father of 3 kids that he loved and he was my friend.

I will never forget Josh and I will continue to tell his story so people know how amazing he was. How strong and determined he was, knowing him will truly make me a better person.

I can take this and feel some peace from it. I know wherever he is he can walk, he isn't in pain, he can see, he can do everything he used to. I miss him but I am also glad to know he is no longer in the kind of pain he has been in for the last 8 months.

I'm not sure how you end something like this but Josh was really a great person, I don't mean that in the way you say it just because someone passed, he really was one of those one in a million people who could always make you smile.


  1. I am so sorry to hear that Josh lost his battle. My heart goes out to you and his family. What a sad loss. I'll be thinking of you.

  2. Thank you Johanna. It is so unfortunate and seems so unfair. I already miss him so much.