Last Saturday, February 2nd, my Dad came to the cabin in Boyceville for one of our usual afternoons of outdoor work. There are always 4-wheeler trails to clear and deer stands to maintain, but that day we were dropping a few undesirable trees to make way for smaller maples and oaks to grow big and line the driveway. He had both his hips replaced in 2018 (the most recent being in November) so was still recovering from that, but he was well ahead of the rehabilitation curve and getting around just fine. While I was cutting with one chainsaw, he'd be sharpening the chain and gassing up the other on the tailgate of his pickup. He took a long 4-wheeler ride through the woods and was excited, as always, to see what our trail cams revealed. He was content, happy, and very much the normal Jer we all know and love.
Starting the next day he began to get abnormally tired, and as the week progressed he started having back pain and dizzy spells. At first the doctor thought it was flu, but during a second visit on Friday my Dad was sent to the ER for more testing. From there he went to the ICU at Regions Hospital in Saint Paul, where I'm writing from now. As of Saturday we knew he had "generic cancer". As of yesterday late afternoon we knew it was stage IV esophageal cancer, and it had spread to his brain and spinal column. We will not be pursuing treatment. He had no symptoms before last week, so this has come as an incredible shock.
Right now he's resting comfortably and pain-free, and recognizes all of us. We're still very much in the planning stages of what comes next, and greatly appreciate all the calls and texts that have begun pouring in. Please look to this site for further updates and feel free to share this link, comment, post pictures, and whatever else. We'll do our best to share everything with him.