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Aug 1, 2018 Latest post:
Sep 12, 2018
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting. On Sunday July 24th I hurt my arm. Tuesday July 26th I was diagnosed with a pathologic fracture of my left humerus bone. This means that the bone broke with no impact due to cancer. I had sustained shoulder injuries in the past couple of months that were not healing. By Thursday July 28, Liz and I met with an orthopeadic oncology surgeon at MGH. He told us that I had incurable metastatic cancer of unknown origin. Scheduled surgery for Monday July with two purposes. One is fix the arm with a carbon fiber rod to get more me functional and comfortable. The second reason is to do a biopsy and get information about the origin of the cancer. This will provide potential options for treatment of what the doctor referred to as a chronic illness to be managed. Over the weekend, I became very ill. Liz wanted to have me assessed at the ER but I was stubborn (as usual) and the on call doc was not fully in support of that plan. When I showed up for surgery on Monday, the team, with Liz's stalwart advocacy and the help of the nurses, determined I needed to be further assessed before the operation. The doctor showed Liz the CT scans I had gotten on Friday, which indicated that there is cancer in my clavicle, lungs, spine and kidney as well as the arm. I was admitted to the hospital. They stabilized me over the course of a couple of days and now, as Liz writes this for me, I am in surgery with the original treatment plan. Liz and I have worked together as an amazing team in this last week or so. We are grateful to have so many people caring for us in a myriad of ways. We are scared, sad and also appreciating the breadth and depth of our connection in a way that was not always possible in the daily grind of life. We are living with uncertainty and mixed messages. We have requested a palliative care consultation; hoping to enjoy each moment as much as possible, despite being a part of the necessary, often compassionate, sometimes confusing and disjointed medical system. Liz thinks of Dan as someone who is masterful at living in the moment for good and for bad. She notes that as we go through this process, he has been clear that he needs Liz and everyone around him to be with him in his process in the present and not impose worries about the future. Liz will post an update, when she can, after surgery. Thank you for your patience as we sort this out and have so many pulls on our time.