Johnny Ward

First post: Dec 26, 2019 Latest post: May 24, 2023
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. Bear with me this is long and ambling but "it is what it is". The week of December 2nd while at work Johnny experienced a circle of flashing lights in his right peripheral field of vision. Lasting maybe 30 seconds he mentioned it to me but we didnt give it much thought. On Dec. 11th he had another "light show". Concerned this was not normal he went to his optometrist Eric Porisch. After an examination and testing it was determined JW had lost his peripheral vision in R eye but there was no damage to actual eye. Suspecting blood clot or tumor Doc ordered an MRI for Tues Dec 17th just one day after Johnny's 65th birthday. The MRI revealed a mass in the left occipital lobe. On the morning of Friday Dec 12th we had an appointment with neurologist Dr. Sammulson at Regional Health in Rapid. He recommended a biopsy asap. We requested and were granted a referral to Mayo Clinic. Johnny was prescribed an ant seizure medication for the "lightshow" optic seizures and understandably ordered not to drive. That afternoon he attended and enjoyed a small celebration in honor of his full retirement from 39.5 years with Heavy Constructors. Thanks all! per our Friday night routine we spent it at Reurinks. Love you guys. Saturday, only 4 days after 1st MRI, was spent packing and introducing our pups to new house/dog sitter. Love you Becki Clarke for making it possible for the girls to stay home. Sunday was road trip to Rochester. A smooth trip. Thank God for good roads and GPS maps! Monday morning we met with surgical neurologist Terrance Burns to review Rapid City MRI. His experienced evaluation of these scans was / is the mass is a glioblastoma tumor. This is the worst case scenario. There is no cure but with treatment it's growth can be slowed. A surgical biopsy was performed the following morning. My dear nephew drove up from Sioux Falls to spend the day (24th) with me. While Johnny was in recovery Dustin and I met with Dr Burns. Doc had discussed treatment options with Johnny and I the day before but that was a blur. I am so so glad Dustin was there to ask clarifying questions! We all joined JW in ICU for more discussion. Ultimately, the decision would be Johnny's. Concern for quality of life it was a decision no one should have to make. Selfishly I want to keep him with us as long as possible. Christmas morning I joined Johnny at hospital. (thank you Christie Richardson for getting us a hotel literally across the street from St. Mary's hospital) We met with doctors and the decision to go ahead with surgery asap was made. This Friday (Dec. 27, 2019) Dr Burns will remove as much of the tumor possible hopefully with minimal disturbances to Johnny's quality of life. Johnny's brother Scott and his wife Li da arrivedaround noon today thinking they would be taking g us back to Rapid. We are so grateful for their presence and support on this crazy adventure. They will stay until we travel back to RC hopefully Monday or Tuesday. The plan is 3-4 weeks in RC giving JW'S head time to heal from surgery. Okay...then we will "move" to Rochester for 6 weeks of M-F radiation and some oral chemo. I hope to rent an airbnb so the girls can be with us and have alittle normalcy. After the 6 weeks here we return to RC for 6 months of daily oral chemo, lots of golf and fishing. Crazy huh? Yes, we are in shock but glad to gave a plan in place and anxious to get on with our new life. We so appreciate all your prayers. Know we feel the great outpouring of love and support. I plan to update this frequently . Love you bunches! Feeling blessed...Maren, Johnny and The Girls

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