Dan Mannikko

First post: Dec 5, 2020 Latest post: Jan 14, 2021
 I was hesitant to start this page but after talking to a friend that has found it useful to keep everyone updated I thought I would go ahead and use this as a way to update everyone on Dan and to let some people who have just heard bits and pieces a place to hear the whole story from myself and Dan. First off Dan is a very private person and I told him that one of the hardest parts of this journey was to allow people to express concern and to be there for him. He's been doing a good job but this of course takes it to another level. Thats okay though, I think it will be good for him to see the love and support he has. 

 Back in January 2020 Dan began experiencing trouble with his bladder. His symptoms were frequency, and the feeling he had to use the bathroom but nothing would come out. Maybe TMI, but its what was going on. Beginning of February on a Saturday he was in terrible pain. He really seemed to have every symptom of a bladder infection. I took him to the ER and sure enough that is what they diagnosed him with. They told us to follow up with his urologist. Dan did just that and he was scheduled for a scope in the office. He had that done and was told it was one of two thing, an infection or carcinoma in situ. We would have to wait for the results. A couple of weeks passed and we finally heard from the Doctor that there was no infection and they scheduled Dan for a CT Scan and Biopsy. He got the CT which didn't show anything but due to Covid his biopsy wasn’t scheduled until the middle of August. A week later he was diagnosed with bladder cancer.  We were devastated. I immediately started calling insurance to see where we could go for a second opinion. We were scheduled right away at MD Anderson in Houston and soon after his diagnosis we found ourselves in Houston. Dan went through a battery of tests and another biopsy. Everything was confirmed and he had a grade 2 muscle invasive bladder cancer. From everything the Doctor saw the cancer was confined to the bladder which was great news but it still meant chemo and bladder removal and reconstruction. Luckily the Doctor at MD Anderson was able to coordinate with the Oncologist here in Reno and Dan was able to do his chemo treatment here but surgery would be in Houston. Chemo was rough, it was four rounds, every other week, Thursday for 2 hours and Fridays for 7. Before his last treatment we flew back to Houston for a follow up CT scan and that showed his cancer was responding well to the chemo. Good news again. Dan and I came home, he finished his last round of chemo and his surgery was scheduled. That brings us to today. Dan is currently in Houston. He did his pre-op stuff the past two days and surgery is set for Monday December 7th. I will fly to Houston on the 5th and be with him throughout. I say be with him but because of Covid I wont actually get to be there. I will drop Dan off on Monday, his surgery is 8 hours and then 5 days in the hospital. I will get updates from the hospital and when he is able we will be able to Facetime. Even though his cancer did react well to the chemo he will still need his bladder removed and we are hoping he will be able to have what is called a neo-bladder. That is where they are able to reconstruct a bladder using his small intestine. A big surgery but the outcome is very favorable. 

Our girls will join us after they finish up with finals and we will spend Christmas together in Houston. 

That is where we are at this point. I will be sure to post updates on his surgery Monday and throughout his recovery. 

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