For Cindy and Scott Graham, life distilled into one day at a time on Nov. 8.
That was the evening Cindy rushed her 43-year-old husband to urgent care because he couldn’t remember how he got to his Gardnerville Ranchos home from Olson Heating & Air Conditioning, where he’s worked for years.
“I knew something was wrong,” Cindy said. “I thought he was having a stroke.”
A scan revealed a large mass in Scott’s left frontal lobe.
He was transported to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno where he had surgery four days later.
The diagnosis is glioblastoma, an aggressive, rapidly growing brain tumor.
For Scott Graham, “the guy that never gets sick,” the diagnosis means he cannot work, and is facing a regimen of chemotherapy and radiation as soon as he recovers from the surgery.
Cindy, 42, said doctors are waiting for the swelling from the surgery to go down.
The Grahams are reeling from the unexpected news, but have marshaled the services of friends and family.
Cindy, who works at the Starbucks Roasting Plant, is overcome by the support she has received.
“I haven’t cooked a meal since this happened,” she said. “I work for the best people in the world. They paid for a couple of nights for me to stay in Reno when Scott had his surgery. I can’t believe the amount of support they’re giving me. They’re just fantastic.”
She said her husband’s employer “is like family.”
Her husband’s illness, however, means one less income. And while she has insurance, medical bills are piling up.
For example, one prescription for chemotherapy pills costs $1,200 per tablet and he is to take one a day for 42 days.
“I don’t see how anybody can afford this,” she said.
Her brother, Jason Iorio, recently relocated from Texas to be able to take care of his brother-in-law.
“Scott has a doctor’s appointment every day, and he will need speech therapy and occupational therapy,” she said. “Jason packed up all his things and moved here so he can be Scott’s caretaker.”
She established an account at Wells Fargo Bank to assist with expenses.
Donations may be made in the name of Richard Scott Graham, or Cynthia Graham, account No. 3031 6712 86.
Friends are working on organizing fundraisers for the Grahams.
She said it’s difficult for her husband to slow down to the pace that’s required.
“He’s bored out of his mind. He’s worked all his life,” she said.
In addition to their friends and family, the Grahams are relying on faith to pull them through.
“We’re people of faith,” Cindy said. “We pray to God things are going to be fine.”