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Jim's illness began in October when he started having severe pain in his hip and lower back area. While x-rays didn't uncover anything he started on some physical therapy to help with the pain. A week after he started his pain was travelling from his hip to his rib cage to his neck and he became unable to stay comfortable. On Sunday the 30th he began to have a severe cough which was concerning and perhaps was pneumonia. We went to the ER in Cottage Grove where they did a chest x-ray which showed his lungs were clear of fluid so the doctor decided to do a CT scan of his abdominal area...this is the moment everything changed. His CT scan revealed a large mass on his kidney as well as some sporadic growths on his spine, lungs and rib cage this is the moment we realized he had cancer.
After a week in the hospital he kept spiking a fever and they had him on numerous antibiotics to try and fight an unknown infection. When he was not responding to the antibiotics they decided to run another CT scan focused on his lower abdominal area and this is when they discovered a second mass on his right hip. This second scan is what solidified our greatest fear, his kidney cancer had spread to other areas of his body and he was discharged home to rest and set up a biopsy on the mass.
The biopsy revealed that the mass on his hip was indeed cancer and we then were waiting to meet with an oncologist. Meanwhile Jim's pain seemed to increase daily and we were having a hard time keeping it under control with pain meds. On Friday 11/11 he was very despondent and weak so we called 911 and he was transported to Riverbend Hospital in Eugene. Once they had him stabilized in the ER he was then transferred to the Oncology floor of the hospital. We then met with the Oncologist who told us that Jim's cancer was inoperable and because of the widespread invasion of the cancer it was also un-treatable, as any form of treatment would be too hard on his system.
The masses in his body had formed calcification or crystallization which indicates that he has been fighting this silent invasion for 2 or 3 years. The problem with kidney cancer is that it rarely shows any signs or symptoms until it has become widespread and affects other parts of the body. Because the mass on his kidney is on the outside there were no signs and symptoms of the cancer.
We have now entered the "comfort" zone, at this stage the goal is to keep him pain free and comfortable at home with Hospice.
We are so grateful for the love and support of our amazing friends and family and at this time we are just trying to manage this tragedy one day at a time.