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4/5/2017 Latest post:
As many of you know Dan has had a series of health issues in the last couple of months. In January he was told that he has esophageal cancer, stage 3. The next 6 weeks he had radiation and chemo treatments with the goal of having his esophagus removed by the end of March. Just as he finished his treatments he became extremely dehydrated, very fast pulse, low blood pressure. So, the doctor hospitalized him in order to get him hydrated, rebalance electrolytes, etc. He said it would be about 4 or 5 days. While Dan was in the hospital he fell and broke 3 vertebrae, one a compression fracture. He retained feeling in his feet, so they performed surgery on his back - injecting "cement" into the compressed vertebra in order to help with the pain and perhaps speed healing. In spite of a great deal of pain, he soldiered on. After an additional 5 days he was transferred to a transitional care unit at the Masonic Home in Bloomington. Dan started physical therapy to get him back on his feet again so he could go home. A few days later he had multiple small strokes in the medulla and cerebellum along with a serious clot in his leg. Back to the hospital, of course. There were some scary days at this point. When the dust settled he was left with impaired vision and speech, along with some confusion. The pain was even worse, because now it was not only his esophagus and back, but also his head and neck. They had him on some super duper pain killers. When they got Dan relatively stabilized he went back to the Home. That is where he is now. Physical and occupational therapy are top on his list. He's still in a lot of pain, but off the super duper meds. They can retard healing. HIs speech is back to normal. His voice is very raspy due to his tumor. His vision is slowly improving. He walked 272 feet with the help of a walker and PT person. He still isn't allowed to get out of bed or walk by himself. He is discouraged and sometimes sees this as his end. Thank God for his life partner, Joan. She's been by his side daily encouraging him, putting up with grumpy moods, taking care of many of his needs and keeping a close eye on his meds and therapy. She's a registered nurse, so that gives me much peace of mind when I can't be there, too. She also works the night shift at a rehabilitation facility, so she hasn't had an easy time of it. His boys, Roddy and Adam, also have been there for him. At ages 24 and 19 they have many responsibilities like a new career and college classes. Nonetheless, they have been there. Today marks 4 weeks since they first admitted him to the hospital. Today he has a PET scan to check on his various issues. We're hoping for the best. If love and worry could heal him he'd be at home by now.