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On October 15, 2016 our family began an uncharted journey with our sweet husband, father, and “Pop”, Dan Shelhamer. Following several weeks of unexplained imbalance and weakness in his right leg, arm and hand, a MRI at Group Health showed two tumors (possibly one connected in an unseen way) in the left parietal lobe of his brain. This is the area that controls movement on the right side.
Pathology from a biopsy done on October 24 at Swedish Hospital revealed that the tumor, as his neurosurgeon, Dr. Lee, described it, is a “bad actor”. The diagnosis was Astrocytoma Grade IV/IV, Glioblastoma. We learned that this particular malignancy can be treated and retreated into remission but will inevitably make return performances. The location makes operating to remove the tumors not an option as the first choice, because removing it would also remove healthy cells and increase the probability of full paralysis.
Since October 24 Dan has been on anti-seizure medication, had several more CAT Scans and MRIs, taken one adventure to the ER with partial seizures and is scheduled to begin Chemo & Radiation treatments on Tuesday, November 22 at 3:00 pm. He has continued to teach drama 3 days a week, rehearse and perform with a Silverbells Carolers quartet, and directed the choir and play for services at Haller Lake United Methodist church. The word stubborn comes to mind, but we will settle for persistent.
Through all of this we have survived on a lot of dark humor and as much laughter as we can muster. There are six of us living together and we are each wrestling with our feelings in different ways. We believe prayer and love will see us through. We shared this news with our church families and close friends. We are overwhelmed with the blessing to be gifted with their support. With this post we invite you on our journey with us. If you wish to receive updates as they are available, there is a place to register for automatic notice of posted updates to your email .
Following the biopsy Dan told us of feeling love wash over him as he came to in recovery. We ask you to hold him in prayer, sending him energy and strength for the battles ahead. Love to you all.....Carol