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5/14/2016 Latest post:
We finally have an explanation for all that dad has been going through these past few months... a high-grade brain tumor. And so begins the next chapter. As many of you know, this all began February 10 with a brain bleed stroke. Dad was airlifted to Mayo, underwent inpatient rehab and returned home after a month, only to be taken back down to Mayo a month later (April) with a very large pulmonary embolism. Due to the brain bleed, this situation was very critical. Treating with blood thinners created a great risk that the brain could re-bleed, but doing nothing would take his life. Doctors were able to find a therapeutic level of blood thinners that his brain tolerated. Just as he was transitioned off of the IV blood thinner to warfarin, a pill form of blood thinner which he would be on at home, he went non-responsive while in the shower. His BP dropped to below 80/50. Back to ICU he went. There is still no explanation for this. The impact was substantial. Dad's body experienced such a shock. He was significantly weakened. His entire system slowed down. This time the complications seemed to keep developing. A few days later, he developed a massive clot in his left leg and numerous clots in his right while on the blood thinner - its called warfarin failure. Dad was released to Seminary Home in Red Wing for rehab and recovery. This Tuesday, May 10, an MRI of dad's brain showed a very large brain tumor. Unfortunately the doctors believe it is a high-grade non-curable brain tumor - a glioblastoma. We face a decision this weekend to proceed with a biopsy or directly to treatment without a tissue sample to confirm the grade and type of brain cancer. Back in March, an MRI of dad's brain showed an area of concern, but doctors believed it was just the brain appearing "very angry" and swollen after the stroke. The additional imaging that has been done of the brain these past few months continued to show an area of concern, but improvement in the overall appearance. Twelve weeks have passed since the initial brain bleed and the blood and edema in the brain have gone away allowing the MRI to detect the underlying brain tumor. Unfortunately (there is nothing fortunate about this) it has grown significantly. Eric and I have been home numerous times since February. We are so grateful to our family in MN who are here to love and support mom and dad. To all of our family and friends both at home and afar - thank you for the continued love, prayers and support. To our jobs, our teachers, our neighbors who have jumped in to help, allowing us to be here with mom and dad - THANK YOU!!! And thank you to the family friends here in Red Wing for taking care of mom and dad when we have not been here - for the rides, the meals, the prayers, the hugs and the visits.