Joe Wanner Joe’s Brain Battle

First post: Jul 17, 2022 Latest post: Jul 13, 2023
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Joe’s battle began on Monday July 11, 2022. When Jeremy arrived at the farm that morning he immediately knew something was wrong. Dad was very confused and was unable to explain a hydraulic hose to Jeremy. Suspecting a stroke Jeremy (after much arguing from the stubborn German) convinced Dad he needed to be taken to the Emergency Room at CHI in Dickinson. He was immediately taken into CT to confirm what the doctor also suspected was a stroke. We were all prepared to deal with the after effects of a stroke, what we were not prepared for was the CT scan showing not one but THREE tumors on the left lobe of his brain. The largest of the tumors has created a fair amount of brain swelling which is effecting his speech and causing confusion as well as right sided arm weakness. Suspecting the tumors were malignant Dr. Cassidy immediately took Joe back into the CT scanner to look for the primary source of cancer. Another large tumor was found on his right kidney.  With the amount of swelling in his brain and      the size of the one brain tumor, Dr. Cassidy began preparing Dad to be flown to Sanford Medical Center in Fargo. Within hours Dad and Mom were on the med plane in-route to Fargo. 

Once in Fargo, a medical team of Nephrologist (kidney), Neurologist and Neurosurgery (brain), internal medicine, radiology, and oncology assembled to form a plan of action. On Tuesday morning Joe was put through a full body MRI to get an idea of the size and organ involvement of the tumors. Thankfully at this time there does not appear to be any other organ involvement outside of the right kidney and brain.  It was immediately decided that the largest brain tumor and kidney needed to be removed to give Dad the best chance of recovery. The brain tumor takes precedence and Joe will be heading into surgery Thursday afternoon to hopefully remove all of the large tumor. The hope at this time is that, depending on the pathology results of the mass, the other two smaller tumors can be treated with radiation and/or chemo. At this point the kidney will have to wait until Dad’s body is recovered enough from the brain surgery to handle another large procedure. Unfortunately, the only way to know the involvement and extent of the kidney tumor is to remove it. Which means we won’t have much of a treatment plan until the tumor is removed and has been studied by pathology. Best case scenario, the only treatment needed would be removing the kidney and/or tumor and no further treatment would be needed, but again it might be awhile before we have those answers. 

Although the future is unclear, we all know this stubborn German is going to put up one hell of a fight. He is in good spirits and aside from a little speech impairment, right arm weakness and some mild confusion, we would never know anything was wrong. He hasn’t missed a beat in making sure we all know he is still in charge and we best not dare tell him what to do. We know some darker days are ahead are possible but we are all prepared to stand by his side to help him through those times. We appreciate everyone’s prayers, well wishes and offers to help. It’s times like these when a person realizes just how blessed they are. God bless and we will see everyone at his “ I beat cancer” celebration. 

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