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8/11/2017 Latest post:
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On June 29th, Ken was diagnosed with stage 4+ small cell lung cancer which had already spread to both lungs, his liver, adrenal glands, omentum, and 3 places in his brain. He was admitted to Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans, LA, where he lived, on Wednesday, August 5th to be assessed and form a treatment plan. He started palliative radiation on July 13th on one tumor in a lung which was blocking an airway and about a week later, started radiation on the 3 tumors in his brain. He also had a port inserted into his chest to receive chemotherapy through once the radiation treatments were complete. Research has shown that this type of cancer responds well to both radiation and chemo, however, there is no cure for this type of cancer. These treatments would help to prolong Ken's life if he tolerates them and there are no other complications.
Ken was released from the hospital on July 15th and he went back to his apartment and drove himself to treatment daily. His adult children, Karen and Lonnie Moore flew down on Wed, July 19th to help him sort through his belongings, meet with doctors, drive him to treatments, and have some personal time with him. While they were there, they all met with a Palliative Doctor and Social worker from the VA hospital. It was determined that Ken's health was going downhill very quickly and there had already been discussion of getting Ken to Minneapolis's VA hospital where both his mother and sister live. Ken stated at that meeting that his goal was to come to Mpls, continue his treatment there, so he could be near family. Finally, on Saturday, August 5th, we were able to fly Ken up to Mpls. On Monday, August 7th, he was admitted to the Mpls VA Community Living Center to be cared for and assessed. Ken is very sick. He has no appetite, is very, very tired, is on oxygen full time, and is extremely weak.
On Tuesday, August 8th, an ultrasound was done on Ken's liver to determine if there was any blockage. They did not find blockage, but they did find fluid build up and on Wednesday, August 9th, drained 4+ liters of fluid from his abdominal area, giving him some relief. They then did an MRI on that same area to have a better look at what was going on and to determine if Ken is eligible for chemotherapy or not.
On Thursday, August 10th, the chemo doctor team presented Ken with the option of trying chemo but that it could be a very dangerous option. If successful, the chemo could extend his life for a few months. If not successful, it could hasten his death. The other option is to let nature take its course, treat him appropriately as he declines and he would possibly only live for a couple more weeks. After sleeping on the decision, Ken has chosen to go out fighting and do the chemotherapy. The team will administer half the regular dose and start slow to see if his body can tolerate the medication. He can choose to halt the treatment at any time.
Ken's cousin Bill Moore and his daughter Becky made a surprise visit to Ken yesterday and will stay through the day today, Friday, August 11th. Ken's kids, Karen and Lonnie are driving to MN today and should arrive tonight around dinner time.
My mom and I(Kelli, his sister is writing this) are very grateful to have gotten Ken up here when we did as his health is declining daily. I am also very grateful for the incredible staff here at the VA who have been so respectful and kind. Thank you for visiting Ken's site. I am sure he would love to hear from you.