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Jul 21, 2018 Latest post:
Aug 14, 2018
Welcome to Dale Roffers' CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We really appreciate your prayers and support, words of hope and encouragement. Thank you so much for visiting.
Our Father, Dale Roffers has recently heard some difficult news- he has cancer.
It has all happened very suddenly and so we wanted to share the story with his friends and family and keep you all updated.
Dad has been having a lot of back pain for the past year and thought that it was something that he had to bear, as Dad just doesn't complain about his pain or discomfort. Up until a year ago he would get up every morning and stretch and then go with his buddies to workout 5 days per week. He has done this routine ever since he retired. Since his back pain had gotten worse, he was not able to do his daily workouts and has tried physical therapy, chiropractic care and numerous exercises and liniments to try to relieve the pain. He had also had a couple recent episodes where his left leg would just "give out" from under him and he would collapse and fall, hitting his head and ending up in the emergency room with injuries and even more pain. It has been incredibly frustrating for a man that has been in good shape and physically self-sufficient all of his life.
Finally, last Monday, July 10th, he scheduled an appointment to go see a new doctor, to see if there was anything he could recommend to help with the pain- it was becoming unbearable. The doctor looked at his records and recommended a MRI on his lower back. They ran the MRI and the doctor got the results back at the end of the week. He called Dad with bad news- the MRI showed a mass in his L3 vertebra and it was wrapped around the nerve- so that is what was causing the extreme back pain and leg weakness. The doctor the wanted him to check in to the hospital for some additional MRI's and tests right away. So Dad checked into St. Joseph's Hospital in St. Paul last Saturday morning, July 14th.
Ever since then it has been a flurry of MRI's, x-rays, consultations with a Neurosurgeon, Lung specialist, Oncologist and numerous doctors. We have learned a lot about cancer- very quickly. Dad, Mom and our family were in for a bit of a shock- it turns out that the cancer was not just in his spine.
He also had a tumor in his lung, a tumor in his ribs, a tumor in his shoulder and 3 tumors in his brain. It was devastating news and the Oncologist feels that it is very aggressive cancer- most likely Stage 4. They are doing a lung biopsy Friday morning, July 20th to determine what type of cancer it is.
Once they know the type of cancer, they can determine what type of treatment would possibly work to help with reduction of the tumors or prevent them from spreading any further. The Oncologist has been very clear that the treatment will not cure the cancer at this point, but could help with prolonging his quality of life for a bit longer. Apparently there are some types of cancer that respond well to " Immunotherapy" / gene markers and this type of therapy does not have the adverse effects that chemotherapy has on the body. But only certain types of cancer respond well to this type of therapy- so we wait for the biopsy results, which will come hopefully by next week.
In the meantime, the doctors have added some medications that seem to really be reducing the inflammation and pressure on the nerve wrapped around the spine tumor. It is really working well to eliminate the pain that Dad has been experiencing for so long. We are all so relieved that his pain has been reduced- he is so much more comfortable and eating well also.
They sent him home Thursday July 19th. He had his lung biopsy and brain CT scan yesterday, Friday July 20th. We will know results of biopsy by mid next week.
Thank you for your prayers, words of encouragement, love and support for Dad and Mom both; it means so much to all of us.
Dad really appreciates your calls and visits. People have asked how they can help: meals & running errands, visits and phone calls are also appreciated! Mom will definitely need some time to get out of the house and relax- this has been extremely stressful for her. ❤️