Dave Menssen

First post: Mar 28, 2018 Latest post: May 7, 2018
Last December 2017 Dave noticed some swelling on the left side of his neck. He went in for his physical the next week and they did a biopsy. It came back as Renal Cell Carcinoma (Kidney Cancer). The CT scan showed that it had metastasized to his abdomen and lungs. Renal Cell does not respond well to radiation or most chemotherapy, so he began taking a drug called Sutent.   While this drug helped in many ways, in some cases shrinking of tumors, it had many side effects and couldn’t stop the cancer from spreading.

 This past fall he mentioned to his doctors at Mayo that his right femur was bothering him – to find out the cancer had metastasized to his bone. He had surgery to place a rod in his femur for stability on Sept. 22.   What this means is that Dave has a bionic leg (just ask to see the pictures :))

 What we learned as a family from all of this is that his current lifestyle was not conducive to healing.  With that, Dave retired in December from his job at Activestyle to attend to his illness.  

  At the end of February 2018, he started waking up with a neck ache and headaches. They did an MRI and found 8 lesions on his brain. The largest was 1” and sits above his brain stem. He was admitted to the University of MN for gamma knife radiation on all 8 lesions. He has been very tired and dizzy since the gamma knife along with numbness on his right side.   While we are extremely happy with the chance of stopping the cancer growth in his brain, the side effects are proving to be a real problem.  On March 20th, he fell at home breaking his left upper humerus bone (this was his good arm).   Again, he adds another layer of bionic to him (and I mean it, ask to see the pictures).  

  He was in the hospital for 7 days and transferred to Good Samaritan for rehab. We are hoping that he will be home for Easter, but haven’t heard. 

  We are now at a cross road in our journey.  He will need two people to assist him with his daily needs and will be using a wheelchair for safety.   We want to get him home where he can heal with his family and get back on his cancer medication.  With all of this comes the need for home health care.  Anything anyone can give, no matter how small will help us get that for Dave.

  He is currently trying a new drug Opdivo and will have another scan at the end of April to see if it’s working. 

  His attitude is nothing short of amazing and he is determined to live each day strong and spirited! We’re so proud of him and appreciate all the prayers and warm wishes! His family and close friends are staying strong. Thank you for caring, Cathy


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