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May 1, 2016 Latest post:
Sep 2, 2016
Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most.
Dad has been struggling with a bone/blood disease called MDS -Myelodysplastic Syndromes the past year and a half. He has been managing it ok this past year, with blood transfusions every 4-6 weeks and he had a few rounds of a chemo type shots. This past March we were very happy to see his blood counts improving , actually the best they have been all year. We have been proactive on his condition with weekly blood test to stay ahead of when his next blood transfusion will be. This past Tuesday April 26 we had a turn of events and his blood test this week revealed alarmingly high white blood cell counts, 20 times higher than the week before, We were told to go to the Mayo in Rochester immediately. The past few days have been a whirlwind of activities as Dad was admitted into ICU. We have found that his disease has definitely progressed to a Acute Myeloid Leukemia , and have spent the past few days going though chemo pills and a white blood cell reduction to get his counts down. He is strong as ever, in good spirits but weak. As of now we have controlled his white blood cell count which is good. But all we have done the past few days is "patch" his problem and we also got him stable and out of any immediate danger. But this a temporary fix and everyday his white cells will grow again creating this same problem all over again ...Thursday we received the saddening news that his cancer is quite aggressive and with the white cells continuing to duplicate this fast we will need to start Chemotherapy immediately.
His first response was "I wanna do what ever I can do to stay alive so lets get this party started" and then about an hour later he says.. "all I wanna do is have a party at the harbor". He has decided to start chemo effective immediately...(we have started Chemo Friday April 29th Evening.)
So as of right now our goal is to get Dad healthy and have that a good ole fashioned Riesgraf Party at the harbor this summer where he will relax and heal!! We will need all of your prayers, thoughts and positive loving energy sent our way to make this happen.
Dad has a hard road ahead of him, but he is strong as ever and has a huge family filled with love and positive energy flowing around him making him stronger every minute..
Mom has been his rock this past few years since he has been sick and is continuing to do so. It has been very wearing on her but she is like the energizer bunny and just keeps going!
Dad wants everyone to know how grateful and thankful he is for all of your well wishes, it means so much to him.
We also wanted everyone to know that there is a guestbook on this site where you can send him a message and know he will get it. Dad is worried about being bored at the hospital so we have a FAVOR it if you would share one of your favorite moments you have had with Dad, we all know there are some good ones out there! It will be great to read them and share a bit of love and laughter in the process! So you can simply write in the the guest book and just start by saying.... ”Remember when ...”