In summer 2016, Jack first started having trouble with his appetite. At that time, a scan discovered an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Doctors weren't looking for it, but finding it likely saved his life. He had surgery in July to repair the bulging aorta with a stent and also do two bypasses in his groin/thighs to restore blood flow to his legs.
Then, after he was home and recovering, Jack started to have trouble swallowing and was losing weight. A gastro scope first found, and CAT and PET scans confirmed, a large (6 x 8.3 x 7.5 cm) cancerous tumor in his esophagus, as well as some localized spread of the cancer to nearby lymph nodes. In addition to the cancer, he is having mobility issues and has trouble getting around. He got a G-tube for nutrition, and then 28 weeks of radiation shrunk the tumor in his esophagus to nothing. He's not cancer free, but isn't dealing with that mass anymore.
Then spring 2017, Jack started having labs indicating that his kidneys were not functioning well and his mobility continued to decline. A fall on March 5 led to a trip to the ER, which resulted in a week and a half of hospitalization for pneumonia and kidney failure. With his heart rate climbing, his lungs battling fluid, his blood toxins rising, and his mobility flagging (he couldn't sit up without his heart pausing, causing him to pass out), he had three rounds of dialysis. After some incredibly rough, scary days and nights, he rallied. The doctors believed his kidneys would be able to pick up the slack again, and he was released mid-March for skilled care and rehab. He has been cleared to eat soft foods, and is working on that as well as physical and occupational therapy.
Our prayer is that our dad will grow stronger and be able to regain his quality of life, once again enjoying puzzles in the Gazette and outings for meals. We are so grateful for all of the support, prayers, and helping hands that have showed up throughout this time. Thanks so much, friends.