As you may know, restaurateur John Gorham of Toro Bravo, Tasty n… MEC and more went in for surgery to remove a tumor from his brain. I asked wife Renee for an update.
John is doing great, sleeping about 18 hours a day but healing well. He’s got a pretty sexy scar but otherwise the same John we know and love. His biggest fear was that he would be cognitively impaired, have seizures or changes in personality, all common risks of brain surgery. It’s a blessing to report that he has none of those symptoms. I knew he was still himself when he was coming out of anesthesia after 8 hours on the table and I told him we 86’d Oscar (yes he named it) with a smirk he grumbled a reply “let’s cook it!” Just then a sense of relief filled my heart and I cried and laughed at the same time.
We had an amazing team at OHSU and are so very grateful for their commitment to advancing medicine. John felt so good about being involved in a clinical trial for a new MRI which gives a very detailed image with the goal of diagnosing these types of tumors without surgery. It was motivating for him to take part of that to help others with a similar diagnoses. At OHSU, he was also able to get an operable MRI which uncovered some hidden tumor that had grown into a fold in his brain, resulting in a complete recession. We wont get the official pathology for another week, but they were able to determine that it was in fact a low grade glioma, most likely stage two. If the pathology confirms that to be correct its a possibility that he wont even need chemo and radiation, another blessing! He said to me today dumbfounded ” I cant believe I had brain cancer, fucking brain cancer… I fell like I cheated it” to which I replied “baby you had brain cancer, HAD in the past tense, and you didn’t cheat it, you beat it”
This whole experience has been so surreal, from the original incidental finding, to accepting he really needed brain surgery during the holidays, while building out Shalom Y’all and BYH in McMinnville, life doesn’t stop for us. Then to check in to OHSU Wednesday morning and walk out the door Friday afternoon- cancer free. Less than sixty hours, it was just incredible.
He’s looking at another two to three weeks of recovery, but knowing John he’ll wwant to go back to work in a week. Until then he’s got plenty of time to lay around and plan his next restaurant, his dream restaurant, ’cause Portland needs more Italian, no? What do you think of the name Fiamma? nothing stops John Gorham!
I am so glad to hear things went so well.
Renee Oberdorf says
I’m so happy to read this and know John is okay. What an incredible story, and befitting. Wow.
Fantastic story and very heartwarming. So glad John is on the road to recovery. All the best to John and Renee!
Great news for a great guy…..