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 a nearby lymph node and possibly a spot on his spine. In addition to the cancer, he is having mobility issues and has trouble getting around. We’re not sure if this is due to continued recovery from his femoral artery bypasses, from weakness due to cancer, from lack of nutrition and weight loss from his swallowing problems, or a combination of those.
Our goal is to treat the cancer in a way that doesn’t take away his quality of life while building him up physically so he can do more of the things he used to enjoy -- getting out to church, for lunch with friends, and to run errands; yard work and everyday chores; and creating ingenious solutions to everyday problems in his magical workshop.
In the meantime, if you'd like to help, here are a few ideas: * Pray for his quality of life, regained strength and mobility, and successful treatment. * Send notes/cards to Jack at his home, 2231 42nd St. NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402. * Text him with joyful affirmations about the Iowa Hawkeyes when they win. (And they WILL win.) * Do things to bring laughter to his life. * Offer to help him get to appointments or to run errands. * Volunteer to help with day-to-day tasks like moving his garbage/recycling from the house to the curb and back.
Jack really likes to do things for himself when he can, but while he's fighting this, helping hands and the loving support of friends and family will be a wonderful thing to have. Thanks so much, friends.