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Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We've created it to keep friends and family updated about Michael. Get started by reading the introduction to our website, My Story.
Visit often to read the latest journal entries, visit the photo gallery, and write us a note in our guestbook.
For several weeks Michael had been experiencing intermittent abdominal cramping and constipation. On Friday, February 5th Michael developed severe abdominal pain so we decided to make a trip to the emergency room. After many hours and tests in the ER, we were told that Michael had a large bowel obstruction that would need further evaluation by a surgeon. The next day we saw both a surgeon and a gastroenterologist. The gastoenterologist performed a colonoscopy. The obstruction was too tight to get the scope around. It was decided that Michael would need to have surgery the next day to remove the obstruction. On February 7th, Michael had a tumor and 10 inches of his colon removed. A temporary colostomy was created. Two days later we received the pathology report on the tumor removed. Michael was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer. The tumor had eroded through the colon wall and into the abdominal cavity. He had 11 of 13 lymph nodes that tested positive for cancer. Therefore he will need to undergo chemotherapy and possibly radiation therapy. We are currently exploring treatment options. Dr. Veeder met with us in the hospital and shared with us what he believed to be the best treatment plan. We also spoke with Dr. McGee who is a Radiation Oncologist this past Friday. With the help of our friends and family we set up a trip to Houston, Texas at MD Anderson for a second opinion. We will be traveling to Texas on March 8th. Michael will not start chemotherapy or radiation until we have met with the physicians at MD Anderson. We are hoping that the treatment plan that MD Anderson develops can be completed here in Peoria at the Cancer Center. However, if the radiation or chemotherapy regimen is somehow considered more advanced in Texas at MD Anderson then we will be buying some cowboy hats and staying in Texas for a while.
We are very fortunate to have such fantastic friends and family. We have received many cards, food, money, and kind words of encouragement since people have heard the news of Michael's diagnosis. Please don't read the entries on this site and feel sorry for us. There is no reason to be sad or have a negative outlook. This is just a stepping stone in our lives that will make all of us stronger people. We will all make it through this and Michael will soon be back to tearing up random rooms in our house while I'm at work. Speaking of work, Michael will be returning to work at the hospital next Thursday. The plan is to work 8 hour shifts on Thursdays and Fridays until we travel to MD Anderson.