Dick Wagner | CaringBridge

Dick Wagner

First post: Jan 18, 2018 Latest post: Jun 26, 2018
After recent events we’ve realized the need to keep everyone updated in a centralized location.   Sorry for the long post, it turned into a bit of journaling for me. 

At a pre-op in January 2005 for Frenchy’s first hip replacement, the doctor suggested he come in after the surgery for a complete physical.  He was turning 50 in February so it was time for his first PSA test.  The test revealed the PSA was high, so it was off to visit with a Urologist, Dr. Joe Cerney.  There was no evidence of cancer other than the elevated PSA, the prostate didn’t appear to be enlarged.  A biopsy was done and it came back that it was in fact, cancer.  For anyone familiar with prostate cancer, his Gleason Score was a 9/10, 10/10 is the worst it can be.  We were told that it wasn’t the “normal” prostate cancer, which is slow growing.  Surgery was scheduled for May 2005.  After surgery, Dr. Cerney explained that if you think of the prostate as an orange, the cancer was all the way to the outer peel of the orange, so they had to assume they didn’t get it all.  That meant radiation treatments were next, followed by a year of Lupron shots.  After a year, the shots were stopped and we waited to see if the PSA reading increased.  Unfortunately, it did, which indicated there was still cancer.  At that point we knew the cancer wasn’t going away.  The Lupron shots were started again and things stayed stable for about 6 years.  When the PSA started increasing again, Dr. Cerney suggested we go to see an Oncologist.  Dr. Cerney said he was concerned about Frenchy getting lost in the shuffle and he didn’t want that happening since he was so young, so he decided to refer us to a doctor out of his network, to someone he thought would be the best fit for Frenchy. 

We called Minnesota Oncology and were set up for a 7 am appointment the following Thursday.  We were under the impression that treatments wouldn’t get started until his condition worsened but that isn’t what Dr. Stuart Bloom had in mind.  He immediately started treatments.  There have been MANY of different treatments, so the details of the treatments and timings are too many to list, and quite frankly I can’t remember them all.  Overall things remained stable until about two years ago, in 2016.  Since then Frenchy has been on 3 different chemo treatments, of which only the last one worked as we would’ve hoped.  He also had radiation treatments on his back to treat the cancer that had metastasized into his spine and was causing him pain.  The last time we saw Dr. Bloom was December 6th.  Dr. Bloom decided it was time to give Frenchy’s system a break from treatment for a bit.  Alex was graduation from college in December and we were planning a trip to our favorite place, Disney World, at the encouragement of Dr. Bloom and he wanted Frenchy to feel good through the holidays.

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