Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your prayers, support and words of hope and encouragement! I have been diagnosed with Retroperitoneal Fibrosis, a rare autoimmune disease marked by unexplained fibrous tissue growth in the back portion of the abdomen. This incurable disease must ultimately be slowed by medicines, and with surgery as needed only to relieve symptoms as they occur. I began having abdominal pain over the Christmas holidays 2017, and initially had blockages of my ureters, impeding urine draining from my kidneys. After other attempts to treat, I needed two nephrostomy tubes placed in my back to drain my urine into bags in March 2018. The fibrosis then spread to affect my pancreas and intestines. In May I couldn't keep any food or even liquid down, and needed surgery to bypass a portion of my small and all of my large intestine, resulting in an ileostomy.