Mike Suppa

First post: Mar 23, 2020 Latest post: Sep 30, 2020
In June of 2019 Mike began developing numbness in his left hand which also developed in his right hand shortly after. In September he had a total left knee replacement, which had been needed for some time. In October we learned Mike has peripheral neuropathy and on October 10th we were informed he has Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma/Leukemia. Fortunately, it was caught in an early stage and is slow moving, so no treatment has yet been necessary. Since Mike was already laid off due to his knee surgery, he opted to have a carpal tunnel procedure done on each wrist between November-December 2019 to alleviate his hand tingling. Mike began to fatigue easily in January. The pins and needles he was feeling in his hands and feet began to creep towards his elbows and knees. His physical strength noticeably diminished mid January. On March 13th he was driving and running errands, but could hardly manage to bring the groceries in the house. On March 14th the use of a walker became necessary to get around safely. Mike happened to schedule a second opinion with a hematologist at Mayo in Rochester for March 16th. We made it to his appointment, but he needed a wheelchair at that point due to excessive fatigue. After meeting with a hematologist, he was admitted to Mayo to begin testing to determine the source of his rapid decline. After testing all week, they determined he has an autoimmune disorder. They believe it could be a form of chronic Guillain-Barré Syndrome. In the meantime, he has still been physically declining daily. He no longer is able to perform basic tasks without assistance. On Thursday, March 19th they began an IVIG treatment for five days. Since he has still been declining during treatment, they are running additional tests to figure out if the neuropathy is related to his cancer, or if it is a standalone ailment. We learned on Friday March 20th that as of Saturday March 21st, visitors will no longer be allowed at Mayo due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It was incredibly difficult to leave him there, but he is in the best possible place he could be for observation and treatment. His team of doctors are determined and aggressive in figuring out the best course of treatment for Mike. Thankfully, his spirits are highest out of all of us. Once a treatment is found and he begins his road to recovery, he will have to rehabilitate in a skilled nursing facility or swing bed to regain his physical capabilities. The physical therapist believes his strength is there, but due to nerve demyelination, his brain is not communicating with his muscles. We will continue to post updates during our long journey ahead.