Jeffrey Lindorfer

First post: Sep 22, 2022 Latest post: Mar 21, 2023
Hello Family and Friends,

In 1996 I had my first kidney transplant at the University of Minnesota. I was fortunate to receive one of my brother Randy’s kidneys. Except for multiple rejections post-surgery, the kidney remained healthy for 14 years.  As a result of the kidney transplant, I was prescribed many any-rejection medications. At times, I was taking 20 pills a day. Although there are many side-effects to these medications, the one that has been causing me some problems over the last 15+ years is skin cancer.

I have been struggling with Basel Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Over the years, I have had skin cancer spots removed from various spots on my arms, face, and head. Then in 2010, I had a second kidney transplant (almost 14 years to the day of the first transplant) at Hennepin County Hospital. I again was fortunate for my old neighbor and friend Reed’s generous gift of a kidney. Now, 12 years later, the kidney continues to function well. 

In this time frame, I also had multiple knee surgeries including two replacements, a double hernia surgery, and four-foot surgeries. I was also diagnosed with high blood pressure and diabetes due to the renal failure. On top of all of that I had Covid and spent 8 days in St. John's Hospital back in November of 2020, they sent me home with an oxygen tank. 

In April, the cancer became more invasive resulting in another surgery. Mohs surgery was performed on 4/20/22 at the University of MN. Mohs surgery is microscopically controlled surgery used to treat skin cancer, removing the tissue to later examine the cancerous cells. 

Shortly after the surgery, I noticed a very large lump growing under my skin in the same place the tissue was earlier removed. It caused some pain, dizziness, and exhaustion. I was then referred to Dr. Gendron and Dr. Griffin at Midwest ENT. Dr Gendron was not sure if the cancer had grown back or if something may have been overlooked in the first surgery. Dr. Gendron performed a second surgery on Monday, 8/29.

We knew the surgery was incredibly important to not only remove the cancer but to diagnose the next steps in the cancer treatment.  Due to my renal failure, it was decided that the surgery would be at United Hospital.  The doctor felt that surgery went well, removing the parotid gland in the right neck along with 10 lymph nodes in the gland and 9 lymph nodes outside the gland. Everything removed was sent to Pathology and now hinged on getting the report and findings back.  

The Pathology Report was returned the following Tuesday (9/6).  There were 19 lymph nodes removed (10 in the gland and 9 outside the gland). Of the 19 lymph nodes removed, 17 had Metastatic Infiltrative Carcinoma. Upon this finding, the doctor felt that there was more cancer in other lymph nodes, even though it wasn’t detected in the Pet Scan. In addition, I was also diagnosed with Paget’s Disease which is a rare cancer typically slow growing but mine is growing rapidly. This cancer is very rare with only a 100 or so cases out there and me being the second case in Minnesota.

Dr Gendron and 10 of her colleagues met and made the decision to move forward with Radiation Therapy. Right now, Chemotherapy is not an option due to my renal failure but may be in the future. Radiation is scheduled within the next week. I will receive radiation 5 days a week for 7 weeks. The main concern is that the cancer could be spreading to the brain.

Thank you for following my story. I will post updates as we learn more.