Hello, everyone! Thanks to all of you that have been asking about dad and have shared your well wishes. He has agreed to utilize Caring Bridge as a way to keep family and friends updated with regards to his upcoming surgery and corresponding recovery. We are blessed to have all of you in our lives.
Dad was diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer 2 years ago that had attached to his liver. This type of cancer is somewhat rare and very slow growing. In fact, doctors had indicated that he may have been living with this for many years as it often comes with no symptoms and again, is so slow growing. There is a drug that dad has taken via injection once a month that has kept his cancer stable. Dad has remained incredibly active and has not been phased much by this cancer. We have felt good that if he has to have cancer, that this type of cancer seemed manageable … up until about a year ago.
A year ago, dad started having difficulty in activities that normally wouldn’t bother him, like running and climbing stairs, where he would get winded and would tire more easily. After doctoring throughout this past summer to determine the cause, we landed at the Mayo in September where we were educated by oncologists and heart doctors that specialize in neuroendocrine cancer that this type of cancer emits compounds such as serotonin that when traveling through the blood stream and into the heart, can weaken the heart valves. This is what has happened with dad in 2 of the 4 valves that we have in our heart and this is what is causing him to be winded when doing activities. Dad and his team of oncologists and heart doctors believe that he is a good candidate for open heart surgery to replace the 2 valves. They know how incredibly active dad has been, truly an athlete all his life, and that his goal is to continue being active ... collectively, they were all in agreement, then, that heart surgery is the right next step.
Surgery is scheduled for Friday morning, November 24th at the Mayo in Rochester. They anticipate a 4-5 hour surgery. Assuming no complications, he will be in ICU one night and they anticipate a 5-7 day hospital stay in total. We feel incredibly grateful for this opportunity and are so blessed to have the Mayo out our back door. We know any surgery comes with risk and with that, we are putting this into the Good Lord's hands. We are all incredibly optimistic that he will come through this just fine and that he will no doubt be back on the golf course again next spring!
Please keep dad in your thoughts and prayers this upcoming week. Our goal will be to provide journal updates each evening starting Friday the 24th.