Mar 24, 2015 Latest post:
Jun 24, 2021
Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most.
2021 UPDATE in journal entries!
Shortly after Christmas Dad started having flu-like symptoms and became dizzy when he stood. The flu-like symptoms passed; however, he was still feeling dizzy when he stood. Since the dizziness went away after standing for a few seconds, Dad felt confident this would pass in time. He grew tired of feeling dizzy so he went to the doctor who told him he most likely had an inner ear infection and should wait it out. The symptoms remained and seemed to get worse as the time passed to the point that Dad was feeling unsteady when he walked. They went to the doctor again. No issues with his health were found that would cause the problems he was facing - his heart was healthy and his diabetes under control. So, he was referred to Neurology in Mankato. Dad met with Neurology where an MRI was ordered as it could possibly have been a stroke and we needed an MRI to get answers. (On a side note - we were told by Neurology that the referral from the family doctor to Neurology was amazing, as many doctors would have given him a new round of antibiotics and told him to wait.) Unfortunately, we had to wait to get the MRI because the schedule was so full. During the time he was waiting, his symptoms got worse and he needed to use a cane to get around as he was pretty unstable on his own and had a fall at home. Mom began staying home with him to make sure he was ok.
This brings us to last week when Dad had the MRI and we had an appointment with Neurology in Mankato to discuss the results. I think we all thought they were going to tell us it was complications with his heart or diabetes or possibly a stroke. As it turned out he has a golf ball sized tumor in his head right next to the brain stem on the right hand side, which is why he's been having mobility issues with his left side. The tumor has created extra brain fluid to build up; therefore, he is having swelling in his brain which is causing headaches everyday. We were all in shock as the thought of a tumor never crossed our minds. We were referred to Neurosurgery to discuss options. Dr. Sharma in Neurosurgery got Dad in right away, even though he was booked. He explained that radiation really isn't an option since the tumor is too big and that the tumor needs to be removed ASAP. We wouldn't do a biopsy first as we need to just do the surgery right away......time is of the essence. Since the biopsy wasn't done, we won't know if the tumor is benign or malignant until after the surgery next week. So, we'll have some things to think about pending the outcome. Dr. Sharma spent a great deal of time explaining everything so we could understand and we are so thankful for that! We were all already so emotional and scared, we really needed someone to tell us the truth in terms we could understand. Since MCHS Mankato does not currently have a diabetic specialist, Dad's surgery will be in Rochester. We need the diabetic specialist to monitor Dad during surgery and it's very important that he's monitored during recovery. Dr. Sharma referred Dad to a highly recommended, experienced Neurosurgeon at the Mayo Clinic. With Dr. Sharma's help, we were able to get an appointment with this Neurosurgeon without too much waiting - we were told later that he has a huge waiting list. Currently, Dad is having tests done to ensure the rest of his body is as strong as possible and he's ready for surgery.