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10/3/2017 Latest post:
Dad was first diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer) in May, 2015. We have known from the beginning that his battle in particular would be tough, and would never come with guarantees of remission. With the support and guidance of Dr. Potti and his team at the Cancer Center of North Dakota, dad underwent seven months of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. The goal was to shrink the tumor in his liver to the point it could be removed. In December, 2015 dad returned to the Mayo Clinic and we again met with the "Green Team" led by Dr. Nagorney. Dr. Nagorney and his team removed the tumor in dad's liver shortly before Christmas. The following eight months were not without complications, but they were skillfully addressed by Dr. Potti and Dr. Noyes at the Cancer Center. In August, 2016 we learned that the cancer had progressed. We regrouped, and dad agreed to try immunotherapy, which he has been receiving for the past year. Dad has had a wonderful year overall -- he has been tired, but has spent countless hours enjoying his 12 grandchildren.
Dad was hospitalized unexpectedly on September 19th. He spent a period of time in the hospital in Grand Forks fighting an infection, and was transferred to Mayo's Methodist Hospital on September 28th. The doctors at Mayo confirmed an additional diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia. At this point in time, the leukemia is the primary concern. We have been meeting with very compassionate doctors at Mayo, and appreciate the continued support and knowledge of Dr. Potti. We are awaiting results of testing to determine what dad's options are in the future, and will update this site as we are able.
We would especially like to thank the crew up at the farm for keeping things going during harvest, which we knew you would. Dad loves his farm updates and still gives his two cents about what needs to be done:) We would also like to thank everyone for your continued support -- your prayers, kind words, and laughter help more than you know. Dad's favorite people on the planet, his grandchildren, have been his joy the past two years in particular. We are trying to keep their lives as routine as possible, and appreciate the support they have received as well.
Our dad has a big personality and a big life. He is a "people person", and we know many of you are wondering how he is doing. Please understand that we may not be able to respond to texts or phone calls immediately, but will do our best, and will update this site as we can.
"Having faith does not mean having no difficulties, but having the strength to face them, knowing we are not alone." - Pope Francis