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My Story

Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We've created it to keep friends and family updated about John.

Feel free to sign up for email updates, or to just visit when you have the energy; either way is fine with me.  Please ignore the "Donate now" button on the right; I'll make a nice donation to CaringBridge to thank them.  

I've set privacy to "low", so you do not have to create an account to view. However, I would prefer that this site be for my friends, not for the world, so please don't post the link publicly. (Though it's fine with me if you share it with people you know are my friends.)

In late June of 2010, I decided to have a growth removed from my bicep.  It looked more like a nodule than a mole, but it was often irritated by the seam in my short sleeved shirts and it seemed like it might be bigger.  Much to everyone's surprise, the biopsy showed melanoma - 4.65mm in depth.  In early August 2010, I had a wide excision biopsy and removal of 2 sentinel lymph nodes.  Both lymph nodes were loaded with melanoma, so 9 days later I had all the lymph nodes removed from under my arm (23 total), 4 of which showed very small numbers of cancerous cells. 

Within a month of the last surgery, I began a course of interferon treatment.  After just two doses, I stopped treatment because of neuropathies in my left foot and my left eyelid.  The Mayo Clinic recommended a course of GM-CSF as adjuvant treatment, and I have been receiving injections of Leukine for 14 days out of every month.  PET/CT scans every 4 months showed no evidence of disease, right up until my most recent scan this month.  Unfortunately, this scan showed three areas of tumor - one a subcutaneous tumor beneath the skin of my left buttock, one a lymph node beneath my left collarbone, and one possible in the bone of my left wrist.  And so, the battle begins again . . . .


Karen Riedl posted a new journal entry, "Thank you".

Good Morning,We would like to take a moment to thank all of you for your prayers and support throughout this journey, especially in the last few weeks. My Dad would have ... Read more

Dave Maltz signed John's Guestbook.

I still remember warmly what a great guy John was and how much fun I had working with him. Read more

C. Runner signed John's Guestbook.

I just learned of John's passing this evening, after sifting through the past two months of unopened e-mail I had accumulated in my Inbox.  I must say that this ... Read more

Paula Almer signed John's Guestbook.

Maureen and kids,Just thinking of you today, sending prayers that your memories hold you close to each other, your dad and best friend.  You knew him ... Read more

Stephanie and Bruce Hanson signed John's Guestbook.

Bruce and I couldn't be at John's funeral, so I'm grateful to read this eulogy; thanks so much for posting it. I feel like I know him better now. I just wanted to say to ... Read more

Jim Babka signed John's Guestbook.

Thank you all for sharing everything here, keeping us up-to-date, and for the beautiful eulogy. I remember that laugh from ND - usually over a game of bridge - and how it ... Read more

Catherine Riedl Ellenbecker signed John's Guestbook.

Thank you foe sharing the beautiful tribute you wrote for your father.  We greatly appreciate the beautiful tribute, and hold you all in our prayers and heart. Read more

Ellen Barrett signed John's Guestbook.

Thanks for posting this.The eulogy, the service, you, his family in whom he took such pride and delight, added to the mark John made on so many lives, is ... Read more

Meghan and Dan Harlander signed John's Guestbook.

Karen,Beautiful life. Beautiful tribute to John.Always in our memories.love and peace~Meghan,Dan, Kevin ,Connor and Ian Read more

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