Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most. HeadwindsBy Robert Kantor (https://www.caringbridge.org/profile/33263063
) — 14 hours ago
A health change for Dan has become the center of our life at this time. After a series of clinic visits last week found that Dan's kidneys were showing signs of injury and continued worsening (creatinine levels were rising to high levels within his blood), Dan was admitted to Abbott Northwestern Hospital (Mpls) on Friday evening, May20, 2016. A condition known as 'acute tubular necrosis' was suspected to be the problem--the cause for Dan's necrosis was, at that time, unknown. Intravenous fluids to support his kidneys were initiated. Saturday morning, fluid retention was increasing throughout his lower body. An ultrasound revealed partial obstruction of the tubes that connect his kidneys to his bladder. A backflow of pressure within his kidneys was then determined to be the source of kidney injury. Also revealed by the ultrasound was a deep lower abdominal lump. A CT scan of the abdomen followed to confirm the presence of a large lower abdominal mass. This mass was the source of his partial obstruction seen bilaterally. A procedure to insert stents to open the obstructed tubes and allow normal flow from his kidneys to his bladder was performed late Saturday evening. By Sunday, the stenting was already showing much success. A substantial amount of retained fluids was draining well, thus improving his kidney health and blood pressure. On Monday, his kidney condition had so quickly improved that a needle biopsy was able to be performed for the purpose of collecting a sample of the abdominal mass that was seen on the CT scan. Today (Tuesday, May 24) we hope for biopsy results and a clear picture of what, exactly, the mass is and, of course, what medical course of action needs to be done for Dan.
We all know and love Dan as an avid bicyclist, one who revels in the challenge of steep hill climbs, steady grinding, powerful pedaling into strong headwinds, and the beauty of sharing the road with dear companions and fellow cyclists. Where the winds are the strongest, he does not hesitate to take the lead position, to be the first person to push into the wind--known as the cyclist who 'pulls' for the team. The rest of the pack then enjoys his 'draft' or that quiet zone of shelter from the wind while tucked in closely behind him. Where hills are long and challenging, Dan forges forward with strong and measured strokes. He once described to Monique (Brother Bob's wife) how he cranks up a long and steep hill. "I keep my head down, looking only at the ground beneath my wheels. I never look up at the rising hill before me that I have yet to climb. Focusing on where I am gives me the perspective of a flatter, more manageable plane. Pedal stroke by pedal stroke, I make it to the top of the mountain." Today Dan is embarking on a different kind of ride on an unknown road. The headwinds may be strong, the grade might be steep, but we are confident that Dan will have the legs to carry him through this.
Sara has been at Dan's side nearly every moment since last Friday. Through their laughter and tenderness,it is easy to witness the strength of their bond. They both continue to focus on the positive, on what brings them joy, and, of course, the power of hope.They share their hearts, their courage, and their gratitude to all they encounter, and they hold dear in their hearts all of us--their friends and family--who have touched their lives. It is time for us to pull for Dan, pull for Sara. Let them ride in our draft as we share this journey with them. I'm guessing, though, that while we're busy pulling for him, we'll realize, he's really pulling for us.