Lynda was hospitalized on September 14th 2022, complaining about the seizures that she was getting on and off for the last three months.  The Magnetic Resource Imaging (MRI) report specified on September 16th that Lynda has two Meningioma Tumors in her brain:

  1. Avidly enhancing Dural based mass in the right frontal region, suggestive of a meningioma (size 2.6×2.8×2.7 cm).  Associated mass effect on the underlying brain parenchyma and surrounding vasogenic edema; and
  2. A second smaller and partially calcified meningioma (size 7x13x11 mm) is noted along the inferior aspect of the right tentorium.  

Primarily because of the size (Partial Calcified Meningioma) of the second tumor, Dr. Eve Chang Tsai, Neurosurgeon, Division of Neurosurgery, the Ottawa General Hospital, considered it “No Threat” and decided to leave it alone for now. Subsequently, Lynda had surgery on September 21st and the other tumor from the Frontal Region was removed successfully.

It was a malignant (Cancerous) tumor.

There are three grades of meningioma tumors: A grade I tumor grows slowly. A grade II tumor grows more quickly and is often called atypical meningioma. A grade III tumor grows and spreads very quickly and is often called anaplastic or malignant meningioma.

Unfortunately, Lynda has a grade III meningioma cancer which in a generic cancer terminology called stage 4.

Cancer is a genetic disease – that is caused by certain changes to genes that control the way the cells function. Genes may be mutated (changed) in many types of cancer, which can increase the growth and spread of cancer cells. The cause of meningioma tumors is not known. Exposure to radiation, especially in childhood, is the only known environmental risk factor for developing meningioma tumors.

A meningioma is a tumor that arises from the meninges — the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. Although not technically a brain tumor, it is included in this category because it may compress or squeeze the adjacent brain, nerves and vessels. Meningioma is the most common type of tumor that forms in the head.  Here is a graph for Meninges:

MENINGES Source: Mayo Foundation

Most meningioma tumors grow very slowly, often over many years without causing symptoms. But sometimes, their effects on nearby brain tissue, nerves or vessels may cause serious disability.

A meningioma can be difficult to diagnose because the tumor is often slow growing. Symptoms of a meningioma may also be subtle and mistaken for other health conditions or written off as normal signs of aging.

Meningioma tumors are most common in black people, followed by white people, and then Asian-Pacific Islanders. The meningioma tumors tend to occur in people around 60 years old, with the risk increasing with age. An estimated 2,692 people are living with this tumor in the United States.

Meningioma tumors occur more commonly in women and are often discovered at older ages, but they may occur at any age.  Because most meningioma tumors grow slowly, often without any significant signs and symptoms, they do not always require immediate treatment and may be monitored over time.

Signs and symptoms of a meningioma typically begin gradually and may be very subtle at first. Depending on where in the brain or, rarely, spine the tumor is situated, signs and symptoms may include:

  • Changes in vision, such as seeing double or blurriness;
  • Headaches, especially those that are worse in the morning;
  • Hearing loss or ringing in the ears;
  • Memory loss;
  • Loss of smell;
  • Seizures;
  • Weakness in your arms or legs; and
  • Language difficulty.

In Lynda’s case, there may have been some other symptoms but the only significant symptom that she suffered from was seizures.


After a treatment of 15 radiation therapies (Supervised by Medical Oncologist Dr. Terry NG) and 22 chemo therapies (Supervised by Medical Oncologist Dr. Lynn Chang), another MRI was done on December 15th and the report indicated that:

  1. Evolution of postoperative changes as expected.  No interval adverse change relating to the resection cavity and marginal enhancement.  Reduced edema; and
  2. Bilateral thalamic and splenium T2 FLAIR hyper-intensity, nonspecific but may relate to radiotherapy.  Regions should be closely monitored in future to exclude tumor infiltration.

The core points of the report specify that Lynda is responding to the treatment positively and the tumor is not spreading which indeed is a great news.

Currently, Lynda’s going through a course of treatment under the supervision of Oncologist Dr. Terry NG, which includes 30 chemo therapies during a period of 6 months.

Here are some statistics on the subject which could mean anything or nothing:

  • The 5-year survival rate tells you what percent of people live at least 5 years after the tumor is found. Percent means how many out of 100. The 5-year survival rate for malignant meningioma is over 67 percent. The 10-year survival rate for malignant meningioma is almost 61 percent;
  • The person’s age and whether the tumor is cancerous affect survival rates for meningioma, along with other factors. The 5-year survival rate for malignant meningioma is almost 78 percent for children ages 0 to 14 and more than 83 percent in people ages 15 to 39. For adults 40 and over, it is 66 percent; and
  • For noncancerous meningioma, the 5-year survival rate is over 96 percent for children ages 14 and under, 97 percent in people ages 15 to 39, and over 87 percent in adults 40 and older.

However, it is important to keep it in mind that statistics on the survival rates for people with meningioma are only an estimate. The estimate comes from annual data based on the number of people with meningioma in the United States. Also, experts measure the survival statistics looking back over 5 years.


Here is a sad reality – At present, there’s no magic bullet to prevent or cure the majority of cancer cases. After conducting cancer research for decades and spending billions of dollars what scientists came up with, so called treatment, is a severely time consuming and extremely excruciating process with considerably low inevitability and with the entire focus to stop re-occurring the tumor. In all fairness, what was said about the treatment could be considered as an inequitable oversimplification of a combination of highly sophisticated scientific techniques classified as cancer treatment but from a patient’s point of view it appears to be nothing but a shot in the dark. Nevertheless it could be worth it.

Lynda, like her father – Charlie King, is the gambler in the family and she decided to give it a shot by following through the treatment as diligently as possible, leaving everything else entirely up to her faith. She has no regrets whatsoever as she has been everywhere and has done everything she ever wanted to do.

The demoralizing news is that Lynda passed away this morning on January 6th.   

Lynda had severe stomach pains for a little while which had nothing to do with her brain surgery.  Her oncologist suggested on Thursday morning to take her to the Emergency where she was operated on Thursday afternoon.  We were told around 7:30 PM that the operation was a success.  However I got a call around 2:00 AM on Friday morning informing me that she was in a critical condition and we needed to be there ASAP.  Adam and I rushed to the Ottawa General only to watch her on the life-support system.  We agreed to take her off the system at 4:59.   

7 January 2023 THE FAREWELL

Following the religious guideline which only allows 24 hours, Lynda was laid to rest this afternoon and we said our farewell to a beloved, cherished, and precious human being. Come spring, we are planning to have a reception in her honour.    

Lynda was my whole life and she wanted me to go back to living a normal life and therefore starting from Sunday, I will come down to the dining room for my meals, starting Monday, I will find ways to play bridge during the week, and starting Tuesday, I will go back to playing Bingo the way we used to do. To me it’s a celebration of her life.

8 January 2023 THE TRIBUTE

It’s customary at The Court at Barrhaven to display the picture of a deceased resident for a week:


We had the pleasure of sharing our dinner table with David Kiang at the Court at Barrhaven over a year.  David is a retired professional engineer who has been writing poetry since his younger days.  He published his lifetime collection of 240 poems in December and presented his book to Lynda with an endorsement: “To Lynda, my special IRON LADY”. Here is his poem:

[DK 2023-01-15] This poem expresses my privilege of knowing Mrs. Lynda Ali for over a year while being dinner table mates at the Court at Barrhaven. My sincere condolences to Dr. Mir Ali and his family.


We could have celebrated our fiftieth wedding anniversary together on January 23rd, but she missed it only by 17 days. She was indeed looking forward to it as she had mentioned to me more than once that Adam is taking us to Chateau Laurier for our anniversary brunch. There’s no doubt in my mind that we would have enjoyed the brunch together immensely.

The irony is that I was planning to give her a ring for our fiftieth wedding anniversary and I asked Lindsay and Adam to help me with the selection of a ring. Adam was looking into getting some pictures of the rings from a jeweler so that she could select one. Regrettably, quite unexpectedly she passed away on the January 6th., leaving all of us bamboozled.

Nevertheless, Adam went ahead and arranged an anniversary buffet at Chateau Laurier on Saturday the 21st of January which I attended timorously. At the end of the buffet, Adam said in a little while ago Lindsay helped mom to select a fiftieth anniversary gift for you, dad. I didn’t know what to say. He presented me with a pen – A Waterman Fountainpen – which I always wanted one but never felt comfortable to spend that kind of money on one pen. The depiction on the pen said – Fifty Years Together. I couldn’t help crying in front of my grandkids. The reality is that she was way ahead of me in any and every aspect. Indeed she was a wonderful wife and a delightful human being and I miss her so much it hurts. Here is a picture of the pen:

23 January 2023 THE OBITUARY

Here’s the hyperlink to Lynda’s Obituary which will be published tomorrow in the Ottawa Citizen:

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada