I am writing this post on behalf of my Dad, Dan Kirk. He has had his fair share of challenging health over the years, but some of the health issues have become more acute over the past year in particular, so we want to keep family and friends updated on the ongoing health concerns.
He experienced a fall in the fall of 2019 which led to a full body scan that indicated the presence of stage 1 cancer spots on his liver. The medical team that formed around his case treated the spots with local radiation two times, one in early 2020 and one in fall 2020. We were told the cancer would most likely be a chronic problem.
In December 2020, the medical team discovered a presence of colon cancer as well, which they attempted to remove during a routine colonoscopy. The liver cancer and colon cancer were both early-stage when diagnosed, however due to his existing complex health problems, including living with diabetes for 25+ years--it has all taken a toll. Because of these converging significant health issues, he is not a candidate for surgery since he is high-risk given his health status, and it was determined that treatment options, like further localized radiation, could potentially worsen an already precarious situation or shorten his life. The doctors candidly shared that his health would likely worsen over the next 2-3 years with the possibility of a steep decline at any time. The care team shared that unfortunately there are no treatment options in the setting of his complex medical picture and two cancer diagnoses: metastatic colorectal cancer and a primary liver cancer. They recommend that the best care would be supportive care for symptom management and to support him in maintaining quality of life going forward.
After a series of conversations with our dad, he was open to moving to assisted living. He made the move in late April 2021 to a newer assisted living building, Yorkshire of Edina, which was right next door to where he was living. Peter, my brother-in-law (Dan’s son-in-law), was instrumental in helping us navigate the various support systems within the county and assisted living communities to find a place that was right. There have been ups and downs in this transition but we are glad the move could happen at the time it did. Of course all of this was/is happening during the pandemic which adds another complex layer.
So my Dad, Kaydee (my sister), and I are here to keep everyone informed and updated as these issues progress. We are working with our dad to support him regarding his wishes for his changing health. He would appreciate hearing from you through CaringBridge so please feel free to reach out here!