Greg Beckelhymer

First post: 11/12/2016 Latest post: 12/6/2016

Hi everyone,

As many of you know, Greg’s cancer has continued to spread this year, despite the various aggressive treatments and procedures he’s had. Unfortunately this is often the case for many stage 4 kidney cancer patients, despite all the new treatments now available for this type and stage of cancer. Greg is now on home hospice care, where we hope he will remain for what time is left.

How did we get here? We’re still a bit shell-shocked ourselves. In October he started Opdivo, one of those hot new immunotherapy treatments you may have read about (similar to Keytruda, the one that helped Jimmy Carter). We were cautiously optimistic. But he began to have trouble breathing over the past couple weeks or so, which quickly escalated to him needing oxygen when active to needing it full time to being hospitalized for what doctors initially thought was pneumonia.

Sadly it wasn’t just something they could swat away with antibiotics. The scans they took in the hospital showed aggressive tumor growth in his lungs over the past month-ish. He likely wasn’t going to be able to come off oxygen and they prepared us for what they suspected would be the last couple weeks or month of his life. These numbers are just a guess, and people do come out of hospice - studies show patients do so much better at home - but there’s no telling whether we’ll get that miracle. Still, we’ll keep hoping just in case.

This is a long way of telling you that it’s looking like we’re approaching the end of the road. Greg is set up in a bed in his Huskies/Seahawks/LOTR cave with everything he needs - big flat screen, computer, our sweet little pup Josie, our jerkface cat Simon, etc. And he’s as suave and charming and funny as ever, just a bit more tired and short of breath getting up, despite the oxygen. 

Thank you all for the loving, incredible notes, goodies, and well wishes that you’ve sent. We really appreciate you cheering Greg on through this crappy year. It’s helped keep both of us going. A MILLION THANK YOUS. It’s becoming harder for me to respond to all messages because I have lots to do and want to spend all the time I can with Greg. So I thought I’d corral all my updates here, though I can’t promise to make them often. My sister Naomi may help out with updates here and there. Greg may chime in as well.

You can add messages and photos here for Greg if you like. He loves hearing from everyone and has been texting and IMing up a storm. We’ll try to keep everyone updated on significant changes as best we can. And we may set up a spot on this site soon where local friends and family who’ve offered to help can sign up to bring meals, walk Josie, tidy up the house, etc.

That’s all I got for now. Thank you for everything.

With love,
Michelle

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