Jim Brooks was vacationing with his family in Spain when suddenly he couldn’t speak for 10 minutes and wound up in the hospital. Jim and his wife Louanne decided together they wanted to return to their Minnesota home and Mayo Clinic.
Jim was diagnosed in August 2012 at Mayo Clinic with glioblastoma, stage 4 brain cancer: he had a ticking time bomb in his head. “Our first appointment was a week after we saw our family physician, and a week after that, I had surgery. I am thankful for the rapid and coordinated care at Mayo Clinic, and people going the extra step when they didn’t have to,” he said. Jim received care from not only the surgeon and the doctors, but also many others who were involved with his treatment. “Our sense is that we’ve interacted with somewhere between 100-200 people directly, and indirectly 1,000 people that had a part in my care,” said Jim.
“You don’t know what lies around the next corner or what you’re going to face tomorrow. But when you experience the tremendous caring by everyone at Mayo you know you can handle that adversity,” said Louanne, “At Mayo, you receive not only top quality care, but also top quality caring.”
Jim’s surgery went remarkably well and his treatment continued. “Neuro-oncologist Dr. Uhm said it’s not a pretty picture but you’ve had the best surgery and it makes my job that much easier. We are going to do our best to give you a high quality of life for as long as possible,” Jim recounts. “My recent MRI showed no tumor, and I am doing great.”
There have been several steps along the way for Jim’s treatment and recovery, from surgery to clinical research trials to radiation and chemotherapy. He credits “the great people that I have relationships with throughout the Clinic; we all joke together and laugh. It’s a major part of my care,” said Jim.
“No one should underestimate the importance of the caring attitude at Mayo Clinic; it takes just one person to shatter that sense of hope,” said Louanne. “Thank you to all those, from the doorman to the doctors and those behind the scenes, who make this atmosphere possible because it is very healing and hopeful.”
Jim’s family and friends have been a great blessing throughout his journey. Many of them celebrated with him when he rang the bell October 3rd, 2012, marking the end of radiation. He is back living an active life, working as a consulting forester and doing chores on the farm.