Here's one giant update on everything we've been going through this past week and a half: so many things have changed so quickly! For those of you who don't don't much, Herald’s increasingly severe back pain was not responding to any treatments he tried, so on February 21st, he went in for an MRI. The MRI showed that his back was broken at the L4 and L5 vertebrae. A CT Scan the next day revealed the full extent of what he was dealing with: Stage III/IV Renal Cell Carcinoma emanating from one kidney, and metastasized to his spine, scapula, sternum, and lungs. You can imagine how overwhelming this news was, and is, for all of us.
We are fortunate to have an army of friends and family well-placed and equipped to help us with doing all necessary things to move quickly in fighting the cancer. Much of what will happen is in the planning or speculation stages, but we want to let you know what we can. Herald’s one kidney is clear; that's the good news. Thanks to one of our friends, Herald has an appointment on March 8th at M.D. Anderson in Houston, the nation’s top-rated cancer hospital. Earlier this week, we travelled to Glenwood Springs with the hopes getting radiation in his back. Unfortunately, they saw him and said in order to do that, they'd need to see him for two weeks (which would interfere with his appointment in Houston). The good news is, they gave him steroids while we were there, which has done wonders for his pain management. He's ten times more alert, calm, and pain-free than he was earlier this week. We never thought we'd say this, but we are infinitely grateful to steroids!!!
Believe me, we have asked “Why?” many times. There are no answers. Herald has zero risk factors for renal cancer, and all of you know his ultra-healthy lifestyle and fitness level. The good news is, he is in prime condition to go into treatment and recovery. It's becoming clear that this will be a marathon, and not a sprint. We are so blessed and fortunate to have all of you in our lives in this long road ahead of us. We welcome your support, prayers, positive thoughts, and offers of help. At the same time, we also need some time to wrap our heads around what has happened and the entire shift in the landscape of our lives. Please forgive us if we don’t always respond right away and cannot always take your calls or call you back right away. We promise we love you and are doing the best we can.
As the days go on, we will update you as we can. Know that we are thinking of you too.