For those of you who know Bob, you know that his laugh and smile light up the room. Bob lives each day with the purpose of helping others and focuses his energy on building relationships and making others smile.
Bob enjoys riding his beach cruiser along the San Diego beaches…but about 4 weeks ago he started to notice symptoms such as discoloring of his urine and stomach discomfort that landed him in the ER on August 9th. At that time they ran tests and bloodwork to determine the root cause and on August 11th he received a call telling him to pick up his paperwork and proceed directly to the hospital. It was that day he learned that he had Cancer. He was diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer that had spread to 80% of his liver and other abdominal organs. Bob had planned a trip to MN and decided with his doctor that traveling to MN to tell his loved ones face to face would be ok. On August 12 he arrived in MN and headed to WI to spend time with his immediate family, the Lehmeyer’s. Bob’s condition and pain continued to worsen during this trip, he was admitted to the ER on August 15th due to the pain and discomfort. They sent him home with pain meds and anti-nausea meds and told him to get back to San Diego ASAP so they could finish the diagnosis and create the plan for treatment. Bob flew home on August 16th, the flight crew sped up the flight time to land as quickly as possible as he continued to decline. When he landed he took an Uber direct to SCRIPPS hospital in La Jolla. Bob is being cared for by a team of experts in oncology and palliative care. Today, August 24th Bob courageously hosted a meeting with his family and friends to provide an update on how he’s doing, his wishes and next steps.
The doctors explained that Bob’s diagnosis is metastatic colon cancer that began in the colon and has spread to multiple other locations including liver and abdomen and other nearby organs. The reality is that this cancer does not have a cure and therefore he is entering what is called Palliative treatment which is care focused to counteract his symptoms and improve his quality of life. The doctors can only make educated guesses about how much time Bob has, what they’ve seen with this type of cancer is anywhere from 90-120 days . Bob started chemo on August 21st to shrink the cancer and reduce the symptoms. He will continue with this as long as it’s working to give him the best quality of life. He knows that his faith in God and maintaining a positive outlook will treat this better than any drug out there.
Many of you are probably wondering what you can do to help. Bob has a few wishes that he wants all of his friends and family to strongly consider:
BOB’S REQUEST #1: Donate blood
When he was told by the ER doctor that he has cancer and very large/small masses. He first reaction was not that he had cancer it was that he was devastated that he could not give blood to the blood bank any longer. Bob takes great pride in faithfully donating blood every 60 days. He has a rare blood type - CMV negative, his blood goes to babies and newborns. You will light up his world if you’re able to donate!
BOB’S REQUEST #2: Get a Colonscopy
Bob is begging that all family members go asap to get a colonoscopy and get screened, this is a silent cancer that can be detected if you get one. Please don’t wait until age 50 like most of you are being told.
BOB’S REQUEST #3: Consider contributing to Carol, a nurse who has been instrumental in Bob’s care and who could use some help herself due to an underlying medical condition.
Carol, a nurse and single mother with children has a medical condition. She was rejected disability from her employer. She now is working at SCRIPPS hospital and Bob was blessed to have met her. She knows GOD has a higher purpose for her. Read more about Carol’s story, how she’s touched Bob and consider donating even if it’s only $5. https://www.gofundme.com/f/angel-in-the-halls-of-scripps-la-jolla-hospital?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=p_cf+share-flow-1
Finally, there are a few words from the famous Michael Landon from ‘Little House on a Prairie’ that resonates with Bob and he plans to live by. He asks that you do the same… “Remember me with smiles and laughter, for that is how I will remember you all. If you can only remember me with tears and sorrow, then don't remember me at all”
We will be using this CaringBridge site to keep family and friends updated in one place. Bob or a family member will be posting updates. We appreciate your prayers, support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.