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10/16/2014 Latest post:
Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most. We will update this sight as time allows, either the girls or myself. We ask that you pray for us during this challenging, difficult and tender time in our lives that we may focus on our family.
In a brief interlude here, I will attempt to fill you in on the events leading up to Kurt's diagnosis. In early June, Kurt would renew his CDL and pass his DOT physical with flying colors, all appeared fine with him. In mid-July our granddaughters would come for swimming lessons, spend two weeks with Grandma and Grandpa, play hard with us, and all appeared fine with him. The remainder of July would remain rather uneventful. Kurt would continue to drive over the road occasionally complaining of "you know Linda, sometimes it's a little hard to swallow". With the approach of fall, comes the things needing to be done to ready our home for winter. Kurt's lack of energy and ability to participate, was concerning. Easy for both of us though to pass off as just being tired from coming off the road. What we were beginning to notice was a definite drop in his weight. Here again, easy to pass off as he had stopped drinking Mountain Dew, on his more than regular basis. His weight loss was becoming dramatic. His inability to swallow increased. All his girls, had asked him to "please go to the doctor"! He chose not to go to the doctor, saying he would wait until January when our insurance would start. Early September and our trip to Omaha to see Cindy, we can no longer hide the changes taking place in her Dad! Kaisa has seen her Dad in late July and comments on the weight he is losing, we can no longer hide the changes taking place in her Dad! Lisa would be home the 1st weekend in October, they were to work on firewood, Lisa will outwork her Daddy, compensating for her Daddy's increasing inability to hide, that yes there is something, something that is definitely not right with him! Lisa is angry that her Dad has waited so long, is so sick and still will not go to see the doctor. She tells him, "Dad you have got to go to the doctor", finally after two plus months, he agrees. I call that Monday, Oct 6th, make an appointment for the following Tuesday, Oct 14th, with the doctor and finally we will begin to figure out what is going on. An appointment we would eventually keep but for totally different reasons, ones we never dreamed of. October 9th, Kurt would cautiously, yet diligently, limp his truck home from Missouri. Barely able to get out of it because of swelling in his ankles, I called the clinic to see if they could squeeze him in? They could not but suggested we get him to the hospital asap. Spooner would do a CT, the doctor saying things did not look good. We should head immediately to Duluth, where Kurt would be a direct admit to the Oncology floor. Our first hint of the "C" word... Duluth was waiting for us, had a bed waiting. Where had this gone from Kurt not feeling well, to the Oncology Department? Had we blinked and missed something? Perhaps, we'd misunderstood. No, our hearing had been clear, crystal clear in fact. I guarantee you though, after you hear the cancer word, you will not hear another thing beyond that. Not a single word, time will freeze, the clock will continue to tick but you will not hear it beyond that second. You will however, see lifetimes past, lifetimes present and those yet to be! In that millisecond it takes to utter that word, your life will irrevocably be changed. Time will tick on... Saturday October 11th, they would do a biopsy of this "thing", we would convince the doctors to let us go home, together until the results were known. We would then chart a course of treatment. Tuesday October 14th, 1:20pm, We are off to establish the primary care physician who will care for Kurt, at the Spooner Clinic. Duluth calls while en route, the results are in... This "thing", the "C" word, that has irrevocably changed our lives, is calling... This Extensive stage Small Cell Cancer, Kurt has it...It has wrapped itself around his esophagus and stomach (his ability to eat), is pushing his heart forward, and his lungs backward (his ability to breathe), wrapped itself around his inferior vena cava, causing his legs to retain fluid, doubling in size. It's his pump, pipes and the plumbing and its inability to push the blood back up to his heart, because this "thing" has wrapped itself around all these body parts, trying to claim them for its own. This is a very aggressive cancer and will be treated very aggressively. And so begins my first journal entry...Oct 14th: 9:40pm...