Feb 21, 2020 Latest post:
Oct 26, 2020
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Thank you for visiting our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. As always, we’ve appreciated your support and words of hope and encouragement.
Dad has had a tough ten months. He fell while out shopping and broke his hip in April 2019. He was in and out of hospitals and short-term rehab, had a bout of pneumonia, tried to live independently back home (with intensive help from home health aides and us kids), but finally, reluctantly, conceded that it was best for him to move to a senior housing facility. He now lives in a “care suite” apartment at Augustana Assisted Living in downtown Minneapolis.
At Augustana, dad had a minor fall in December and thought he had bruised some ribs. After some lingering pain, his primary care doctor took X-rays and noticed some nodules of concern on dad’s lungs. She quickly and wisely referred him for a CT scan of his chest, which was followed by a full-body PET scan.
Upon review, an oncologist at Hennepin Health diagnosed him last week with Stage 4 lung cancer. You may know that dad was diagnosed with malignant bladder cancer in 2017, and his urologist has monitored him closely since then and removed some “minor” tumors along the way. Dad’s oncologist thinks that his bladder cancer likely metastasized up his blood stream into his lungs, “because that’s what bladder cancer does.” But dad has declined to have a lung biopsy, with its inherent risks (bleeding, infection, collapsed lung), so the doctor can't be sure of the origin of the lung cancer or how fast it is progressing.
After thorough discussion with his doctor and consulting us kids, dad has decided against aggressive cancer treatment, opting instead for comfort care to manage his forthcoming pain. Because of his age and condition, he’s not a good candidate for surgery, radiation, or traditional chemotherapy. The doctor did say that with a biopsy, dad MIGHT have qualified for a new-ish immunotherapy that has shown sometimes to shrink tumors and reduce pain in some patients - but dad had less than a 10 percent chance of qualifying for that treatment. The whole thing sounded exhausting to him - and to what end?
We’re glad to say that dad is now beginning to receive hospice care, with its array of wonderful services available as he chooses.
Dad is mainly very, very tired, but welcomes visitors - and we've even set up a guest book. You may want to call him first at (612) 238-5793 to let him know you're coming; he still tries pretty successfully to maintain his pen-and-paper calendar. ❤️