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3/6/2017 Latest post:
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting. Jeff's Story In September of 2015 Jeff was diagnosed with an aggressive form of bladder cancer called signet ring small cell. He underwent several rounds of very intense chemo therapy followed by surgery on December 21, 2015. The surgery removed his bladder, prostrate, and several lymph nodes. In addition, a neobladder was created from a section of his own intestine. Over the course of many months, he had a complete recovery from this major surgery and was working on rebuilding his strength. He was able to control urination as before his cancer diagnosis. Every 3 months he had a follow-up CT scan which did not report any recurrence of the cancer. In September Jeff was admitted to the hospital twice for a small bowel obstruction. Because of these, an increasing difficulty with bowel movements, and the CT scan showing a thickening in the rectum (although they did not attribute this to cancer) Jeff was referred to a colorectal surgeon. On December 21, 2016 Jeff had a flexible sigmoidoscopy with two biopsies. These biopsies revealed that the aggressive bladder cancer had metastasized to the rectum and anus. He was told that this is terminal and that all treatment is to make him more comfortable for his remaining days. On Christmas Day Jeff was again admitted to the hospital with another bowel obstruction. Over the next 6 weeks he was admitted for a bowel obstruction 3 additional times. In January 2017, in addition to the bowel obstructions, had an upper endoscopy which revealed he had a swollen and irritated duodenum as a result of the pain meds he was taking. He also had a port put in to administer the immunotherapy for his cancer. On February 19, 2017 Jeff had a G Valve surgically put into his stomach. This was done to allow him to empty his stomach when the next obstruction occurs, possibly eliminating a need to go to the hospital. The surgery also included a laparoscopic view of his intestines where they determined that intestines in his pelvic area are laced with scar tissue from the surgery a year before. There was too much scar tissue for them to cut it away. In addition, they saw evidence that the cancer is now also in his intestines. He is home again. However these many bowel obstructions have prevented him from getting anything by mouth for many days at a time over the last 2 months. As a result, he has lost 20 pounds and is much weaker. We are hopeful that he can regain some of the weight he lost with lots of high calorie meals.