We first off want to thank everyone for the outpouring of prayers and support. We are sorry that we have not created this caring bridge sooner, but as you can imagine the last month has been a whirlwind.
As many of you know, Denny was diagnosed with Melanoma in February 2018. After a surgery to remove two lymph nodes and the tumor, Denny began immunotherapy treatment twice a month. It seemed to be effective as each scan was clear and side effects seemed to be mild. However, in April of this year, he started to have back pain, fatigue and was feeling lethargic. Initially, it was thought that this was due to the cumulative buildup of drugs in his system. The doctors thought it might be good to discontinue the treatment, following a body scan. The scan revealed that Denny had compression fractures in his spine, spots in his liver and chest. The doctors feared that the cancer had spread and they ordered him to start radiation therapy targeted at the areas in the spine they believed the melanoma had spread, and decided to increase his pain medication. Once radiation was complete, a kyphoplasty was performed to seal the cracks in his spine which we were hopeful would alleviate the pain.
Despite the radiation therapy, increased pain medication, and procedure, Denny’s pain continued to increase accompanied by weight loss and sever fatigue. Throughout this time, the burden fell upon Marilyn’s shoulders as his primary care taker. She performed valiantly getting Denny to and from appointments, gathering information from the doctors and tending to him. Family and friends came in to provide support at different times over the past weeks to assist, but as Denny’s health continued to decline the decision was made to get him to Dallas for additional tests and the next phase of treatment.
Denny arrived in Dallas via medevac plane on Saturday May 4thand was admitted to the Baylor Cancer center. He spent most of the week undergoing tests and getting his pain levels under control, while we spent our time shuttling back and forth between the hospital and gathering his various records, scans and images from the FL doctors. Our hope was that once the pain was at a more manageable place and he was able to rest under the care of doctors, he would begin to rebound, and we would have a game plan going forward.
On Friday we spoke with the Oncologists and they believe that the cancer has spread to Denny’s bone marrow as well as his liver. We will meet with them again this coming week to discuss the various options, but for now he is at his home in Dallas resting.
We are heartbroken and overwhelmed by the reality of what the coming weeks may bring. Many have reached out to ask for how they can help, we ask that you just keep Denny, Marilyn and the Rydberg family in your prayers. There is a tremendous amount on our plates and right now we are just trying to focus on the hour at hand.
We love you all and our moved by the prayers, support and encouragement.
***Also please note that Caring Bridge may initiate donation requests, that is a feature of their website and it goes to Caring Bridge. We are not asking for anything, but prayers ***