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Evan Charles Myrtle, age 27, entered this world on August 6, 1987 and departed this world for the next on September 11, 2014.

Evan was able to make people laugh easily, love freely and learn that life is what you make of it.  Come sunshine or stormy weather he was there for those he loved.  He lived loud and wasn’t afraid to speak his mind, which may have landed him into trouble a time or two.  He loved fiercely and held those dear to him close to his heart. Without hesitation, Evan would help a friend in trouble or a stranger in need, and all of those in between.

Evan brought people together from all walks of life.  He was born in Washington, grew up in Maine and ended up in North Carolina after getting married.  Evan’s spirit is carried on through his daughter, Addison Rose, age 2, and in the hearts of those he loved: wife Kari Myrtle, brother Bryce Locke, mother Tammy Craw, father Craig Myrtle, his other mother Mary Jo Myrtle and many in-laws, nieces, nephews, friends and family too numerous to list but not forgotten.  He is reunited with his sister Kyraa Locke, uncle Duane Myrtle, grandma Kathleen Myrtle and grandpa Louis Craw.  

There will be a celebration of life in Maine and Washington for his friends and family to gather and recount some of their fondest memories, with details to come.  Evan will always be deeply loved and sorely missed.   

“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.”  He meant so much to so many; please come share your stories.


Juke Box Hero-he is going to make it to the top…and right now he is trying

I just saw a post on wordpress’s main page before I clicked the little pencil icon to compose a message, that looked like this…

Advantage of Foresight

You’ve been granted the power to predict the future! The catch — each time you use your power, it costs you one day (as in, you’ll live one day less). How would you use this power, i[f] at all?

So, would you?  Right now I am not so sure I can handle it.

I feel as though I am on a cliff.  Evan is in the neurosurgical intensive care unit in a hospital in Charlotte.  I know you may be wondering what happened to Chapel Hill.  Quite simply, it wasn’t an option yesterday.  As you may have read we live about 30 minutes north of Charlotte.  Evan had a series of seizures yesterday that essentially didn’t break.  He had to be put into a medically induced coma to stop the seizures from occurring.  On top of this, his body is showing signs of an infection.  He had a temp, his white blood cell counts were four times the norm, his kidneys weren’t working.  This is called sepsis.  This is horrifying for several reasons and this family has a particularly horrifying past with sepsis.  You see, Evan has two siblings, one of which passed almost four years ago.  She had a gallstone stuck in a duct for some time, required surgery to remove it, contracted pancrititis and after a series of more surgeries, became septic.  She fought a very long time, but it was too much.  So, as you can imagine this is critical.  No, it is devastating.  Evan is fighting two things: infection and seizures.  He has been given a ton of antibiotics and steroids and is currently stable.  

He hasn’t had any seizure activity for the last few hours; his body temperature is back down to 98.8.  His blood pressure is normal without the help of medicine and he has some urine output.  He has been breathing on top of the ventilator.  He is fighting.  This seems positive, which is why I am able to write right now, but there is a very long road ahead.  His doctors don’t want to be all doom and gloom all the time, but they don’t want to give us false hope.  I don’t want to do that for you.  

This doesn’t change the fact that he has a deadly tumor that is growing.  We are essentially borrowing time and with a glioblastoma you aren’t given a lot of it to begin with.  I am staying positive because the negative is very real; it is very close.  I don’t want anyone out there reading this to think he is better.  He is fighting.  He is trying.  He is better than yesterday and hopefully that is something I can echo in the days to come.  That is a step of thousands to come, but it is in a much better direction than he was in earlier.  

So for those of you reading this for support because you are suffering from a brain tumor or know someone who is, don’t give up.  There are cases of long term survivors and I am sure that road has not been easy.  I hope that Evan will be one of those cases.  That’s all I can do.  That’s all any of us can do with a glioblastoma.  For family and friends reading this, thank you for your support.  I will try to keep things updated and I am sure you understand that it is very difficult to accurately record what is going on.  I know you care so I am trying, but with a possible grim outcome it is difficult to jump online and convey that.    

I am comforted by the fact that I have no doubt Evan knows I am here and he knows he is loved, not just by me, but by his family and friends.  There is not one incidence, health wise, where I have not been with Evan since I met him.  I slept in one of these hospital chairs that I am now in countless times: when he sprained his ankle playing basketball and insisted he broke it and needed to go to the ER, when he fell off the roof while working in WA, when he was taken back for MRIs to diagnose his tumor, when he got too dehydrated in Maine at the SCA event, when I was 8 months pregnant and he had his first EEG monitoring session.  I remember once he had severe stomach issues and after 8 hours in the ER he was admitted to the cancer unit of this hospital (before radiation, after learning about his tumor); I was six or seven months pregnant and I woke up to Evan standing over me.  It was 5am and he was just standing there looking down at me; it was a moment in a horror movie before a person gets smothered with a pillow, but I realized he had a stethoscope.  After asking him what in the world he was doing he explained he wanted to talk to Addi and hear her moving around.  We later slipped the stethoscope in my bag and Addi now plays with it when she is in Doc McStuffins mode.  I have never left his side and I know he knows that.  He knows I am here and he is not alone and that means everything right now.  I am not going anywhere and I hope he isn’t either.

…and now a photo blast

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I’ve been silent on here for the last few days and today of all days when I need to be heard I don’t know what to say.

Evan had a seizure this morning, the first one in six months. But, it seems as though it hasn’t stopped and he has an infection that is doing some heavy damage. I am looking at him right now and holing his hand but he isn’t squeezing back. He is in intensive care and I’m here, but my mind has left me.

I know the idea was to use this blog to vent and explain what was going on but even though I have written a paragraph or two I don’t have the words to capture the situation or the emotions or my thoughts.