Dennis Barhorst

First post: Feb 18, 2017 Latest post: May 16, 2017
Hello All,

Life has thrown Dad a curveball and we (Michael, Melanie and I) have decided to utilize this site to communicate with all of you the specifics of what have been going on over the past month with his health.  Dad was admitted into the hospital in Florida after experiencing a bit of fatigue as well as  an elevated heartbeat on January 12, 2017. They did a chest Xray and a CT scan and unfortunately at that time noticed there was a mass on his lung.  The heart issue was quickly treated and has not been a problem since.  They suggested he return home to Ohio as soon as possible.  Michael flew to Florida and returned with Dad and Alice on Monday Jan 16, 2017.  On January 20, 2017 Dad had a full petscan at Good Samiritan hospital.  Appointments were also booked with Dr. Sheth,  an oncologist  in Dayton,  and  with Dr. Merritt, an oncologist at The James Cancer Hospital in Columbus.  On January 23, 2017  Dad met with Dr. Sheth, the oncologist in Dayton, to read the results of the petscan and was told there were several spots on both lungs, lymph nodes in the lungs, the neck area, and on C7.  Without a biopsy he was unable to identify at that time it was definitely cancer, but said it definitely was presenting as Stage 4 cancer. The biopsy was scheduled for February 3, 2017.  Before that time Dad was complaining of exhaustion so Alice took him to Miami Valley Hospital (South) and he was admitted.  At first they believed he had pneumonia and proceeded to keep him in the hospital, but transferred him down town.  During that time he had several tests ran.  He did not have pneumonia.  They proceeded with a biopsy on February 3, 2017 and the preliminary results actually came back better than expected, however they did the biopsy on the neck because they could not get an adequate biopsy at that time on his lungs.  Unfortunately after having to draw fluid off his lungs and another biopsy (on the lungs/lymph nodes)  they did preliminary confirm that they found Left-supraclaucular lymph node pendng stains, Right mediastinal (4R) lymph node prelimanary positive for non small cell carcinoma, Right plueral fluid prelimanary positive for malignancy, Stage 4 Lung cancer.  Dad was released on February 7, 2017 from Miami Valley and was brought straight to the James were we met with a Physician Assistant and Dr. Merritt.  Both confirmed it was stage 4 cancer and said that we would have to wait for the genetic testing results to confirm which treatment options will be available.  He is not a candidate for surgery or radiation.  We hope the results of the gene testing will be coming by next Monday, February 20, 2017,  before we return to The James again.  Since then the final results of the biopsy did in fact support the preliminary findings of Stage 4 lung cancer.   The treatment plans are much better for Dad if he qualifies for the gene therapy.  There is a 15% chance he will qualify for the EGFR gene therapy  and a 50 % chance he will qualify for Immunotherapy which is treatment that utilizes your own immune system to help fight the cancer.  Both are directly targeted to the areas and have proven very successful over the years.  Thus where we are currently, waiting for the genetic testing to discuss these treatment options available to him.  Currently he is still a patient of two oncologists, one in Dayton and one at The James, Dr. Otterson( referreed by Dr. Merritt).  A decision will be made which one he will counsel after we know treatment options.

I can assure you we will get Dad the best treatment we can.  We appreciate your calls, messages, and love you are sending.  Dad is currently at home.  He has a home health care attendant two times a week.  He is very weak and finding it difficult to eat.  We are encouraging visitors  and will shortly be setting up a meal train.  If you are interested email with your email and I can put you in the  meal train.  We all know just how special Dennis Barhorst is to this world.  Keep us in your prayers!

Dennis, Alice, Michael, Melanie and Maria

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