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Hello to you all. I would say hello to friends and family but we have learned that it is not just friends and family that have been supporting Dusty and our family through all of this. There have been a large number of people that we have never met, people that we haven't seen or heard from in years, those closest to us, etc. We have experienced an immense outpouring of love, support, and prayers through all of this and know that it is only through God that the mountains that have been moved have been moved by Him. Most of you have learned of Dusty's recent diagnosis of Colorectal cancer through our Go Fund Me account that we created. We wanted to create a Caringbridge site to more easily keep people up to speed on what is going on.
We will keep it to the short version as many already know the story. Dusty had been having stomach problems for the past couple of years and though he had gone to the Dr. on several occasions, there was never a diagnosis that offered any type of permanent relief. About a week and a half prior to Jan.20th he had more consistent pain, was running a low grade fever, and was very fatigued. He had made a Dr. appointment for Monday Jan. 20th to discuss the pain. The morning of Jan. 20th Dusty was in a lot of pain and was not able to wait until the Dr. appointment which was scheduled for 2:00 pm. I ended up taking him into the Monticello ER where they ran some blood tests and discovered that his Hemoglobin was low. They did a CT scan and discovered what they diagnosed as Diverticulitis with a softball size abscess that had perforated the bowel. They explained that he needed to go to St. Cloud to be treated with anti-biotics and if that did not take care of the issue possibly surgery. A few days later while at St. Cloud Hospital they determined that surgery needed to be done. After completion of the surgery on Jan. 24th, he remained in the hospital in order to recover. On Jam. 28th the surgeon informed Dusty that the pathology results came back and they had discovered that this was not Diverticulitis at all and was in fact colon cancer that had perforated the bowel. So, upon leaving St. Cloud Hospital we knew that we had a bit of a journey ahead of us. First order was adjusting to getting back home and dealing with some of the lifestyle changes of having a colostomy bag, continuing to recover from surgery and letting the rest of the family know what was going on.
Fast forward to now. After many Dr. appointments and discussion with this surgeon and that surgeon we finally got connected with a colorectal surgeon. Surgery is not possible at this point and it is unclear as to how much cancer there is to deal with. They automatically stage the cancer as a stage IV due to it perforating the colon as at that point it is no longer contained to one area. Thankfully, all of the scans that they have done do not show any evidence of the cancer moving to any other major organs but it is still too early to tell if/ where it might have traveled after perforating the colon. Dusty will be undergoing chemotherapy for a period of twenty-four weeks receiving infusions every other week. His first chemo treatment was this past Wed. (2/15). For each of the twelve treatments, he goes in for an infusion at the Monticello Cancer Center and then has to wear a pump for two days following which administers a separate type of chemo.
This has all been a huge shock to us all. One thing that we can say without a doubt is that God is with us and is providing in ways that we could never have imagined. There have been many attempts at expressing gratitude for all of the prayers, well wishes, meals, overall generosity, and monetary donations. There are no words to express the amount of gratitude and appreciation that we feel. We are having a difficult time trying to wrap our heads around the miracles and blessings that have come our way since this has all happened. We continue to see God's work on a daily basis in many different ways. I know that there are soooo many people that have been praying for Dusty and our family and all of this has humbled us beyond belief.
We know that this is going to be a tough time over the next 6-9 months and that there will be many ups and downs. However, we also know that with all of the prayers and God being with us every step of the way that we will make it through with a cure at the other end. We look forward to conquering this and moving on with many lessons learned no doubt, we just need to focus on one day at a time right now. Thanks, and God bless all of you. Words can't express what you all mean to us. We will update as time goes on.