Randy was first diagnosed with cancer last year after exhibiting a series of mysterious symptoms including extreme fatigue, stomach pains, blurry vision, and other aches & pains. These conditions forced him to miss over 3 months of work. When originally diagnosed, the doctors indicated his symptoms primarily came from a dysfunctional thyroid but also discovered cancer. They called it Chronic Leukemia which, while not immediately threatening, needed to be addressed. Since that time, the Leukemia has become far more aggressive than anticipated and they are now faced with heavy treatments of chemo-therapy and a bone marrow transplant.
To support Randy and his family go to www.gofundme.com/randybakerfamily , visit the "ways to help" page, or contact us directly at RandyBakerFamilyFightsCancer@gmail.com Please note, there are several spots that say "donate to CaringBridge," these donations support the business that makes the website possible, but none of the proceeds will end up in Randy's account.
A brief summary of the week this whole thing blew up:
On Monday, April 30th, 2018, Randy had an appointment with his local doctor to go over the continuing health problems he had been dealing with the last few weeks. The latest bout caused fatigue, abdominal pain, loss of appetite and a low grade fever. The tests didn't look good. Tuesday, May 1st, Randy and Nancy traveled to Mayo Clinic for follow-up. The prognosis continued to worsen as information was gathered and it was clear they would be in the hospital for a few days. Apparently, the doctor was surprised at Randy's pain tolerance, given his condition. Randy's White Blood Cell (WBC) count was up past 90,000 despite medication (I believe anything above 11,000 is considered high?). The elevated WBC count is negatively affecting the spleen which has enlarged to 11cm. Randy's shoulder continued giving him a lot of trouble and we were told this is not unusual when the spleen is so enlarged.
The plan going forward: 1. Randy started Chemo May 5th. The chemo is meant to kill all white blood cells. After the white blood cells are gone they will need to re-populate. There is a significant risk for infection during this time (97% typical infection rate?) At the end of this chemo treatment we pray that the cancer will be in remission so that they can progress to a bone marrow transplant. The process of chemo, recovery, and testing is projected to take 4-5 weeks during which time he will stay in Mayo. If the cancer has not gone into remission, they plan to do additional rounds of chemo-therapy as the cancer must be in remission before a transplant can proceed.
2. With a Bone Marrow Transplant approaching possibly as soon as June or July, it is important to find an eligible donor quickly. The search starts with his siblings but will broaden in scope if no match is found. Once the cancer is in remission, a bone marrow transplant can take place. The transplant and recovery process is typically something like 4-6 months. From what I understand, the doctors see a transplant as being the best and only (medical) option for a cure.
Even if things go well it appears that one form of hospitalization or another is likely to extend many months.
This has been a shock to all of us. We knew his condition was bad but the seriousness of treatments has taken a big jump we didn't expect. We are praying for healing while sorting out what can be done to aid Randy & Nancy. Please also pray for the kids still at home as their lives are directly disrupted by all this (Ruthanna, Ethan, Tirzah, & Jubilee).
We are extremely grateful for so many things to this point. The support from Lynette (Nancy's sister) has been tremendous; she has been driving Randy & Nancy back and forth and staying with Nancy for a number of trips to Rochester. Some of our favorite friends ever (is that bad to say?), live in Rochester, and have graciously hosted Randy & Nancy for numerous trips leading up to this time and have continued to provide a place of rest for Nancy. The Mayo Clinic has been great and we have heard that Randy has the best possible doctor for this situation. In addition, God has been providing surprise gifts of provision in a number of other unexpected ways.