It all came as quite a shock. It all started on Sunday, April 5th. Dad was heading to bed and noticed some blood in his urine. That was definitely not normal, so he went to the Parkston clinic on Monday. (We are so thankful he did!) His blood work was a bit abnormal and they referred him onto a urology specialist in Sioux Falls for further testing of the bladder. He wasn’t experiencing any pain or any other symptoms so we are very grateful that doctors decided to send him on to a specialist which could have easily been put on hold with the pandemic.
On Thursday, April 9th, Dad had a CT scan at the urology clinic. They didn’t even make it to the bladder test due to what they saw. The scan revealed a large tumor on his kidney and the tumor was growing up his vena cava toward his heart. These results meant that surgery was absolutely necessary and he needed more tests done to find out what type of treatment would be needed. That appointment also revealed that he would have to have surgery at Mayo Clinic in Rochester due to the complexity of all the different organs the surgery would effect. Thankfully Steve was waiting in the parking lot and they let him come in to hear the news with Dad.
On Friday, April 10th, Dad was scheduled for additional tests including a CT scan, MRI, and additional blood work. In the middle of a global pandemic, all these doctor appointments are quite interesting. Jenna’s friend made us all masks that Dad was able to wear and that we will be wearing on our trip to Mayo. Mayo called on Friday to let us know that we would be having a virtual visit (due to the pandemic) with the surgeon on Monday morning at 10:45am. Good thing we have all had lots of practice with virtual meetings lately! So we had a weekend wait on our hands over Easter. We tried to be as patient as we could and worked to make the best of it.
Monday morning came and we learned that the full kidney will be removed and that the treatment of his vena cava will be determined while he is in surgery. He will have four different surgeons in his surgery: urology, cardiac, vascular, and liver. We are definitely in a great place to be taken care of. Instead of doing a biopsy ahead of surgery, they will be doing their discovery during and after the surgery to determine if there will need to be further treatment. We don’t know 100% that it is cancer, but the doctor said he hasn’t seen a case like this where it wasn’t. Praying we will be the first!
His surgery is scheduled for Monday, April 20th and Steve, Laine, Dad, and I will be heading to Rochester on Thursday evening due to pre op appointments on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. There are quite a few additional steps required due to COVID-19. He has to do a swab test on Friday as well as an additional chest CT scan the day before surgery. Due to all of this craziness, none of us will be able to go to the hospital at all during his stay. We will say goodbye at the doors. We are arming him with technology so we can check in often.
We are so grateful for all the support and prayers already and wanted to have a way to keep everyone informed as we progress through this trial. We appreciate any and all of your prayers and words of hope and encouragement.