On August 17th, 2017 our lives were turned upside down. Dad was at the Gilman Creamery Customer Appreciation Supper. He was in line to get food when he told mom that he was starting to feel dizzy and afraid he was going to black out. Mom walked him to a bench where he sat down and rested before the paramedics arrived. He was still feeling faint and having a hard time breathing so they completed an EKG on him in the ambulance. The EKG showed results of a past heart attack, but the current vitals were all normal. The paramedics recommended that he be further evaluated despite that he said he was feeling better. Family friends that were attending the supper called Danny and Beth who rushed there to be with him. Danny transported him to the St. Cloud Hospital Emergency Room.
The initial evaluation went well and everything seemed normal. Dad had blood work and a chest x-ray done and anxiously waited for results well into the night. The results from the chest X-ray showed multiple masses in both of Dad's lungs. The doctor was concerned and ordered a CT scan which showed other masses on his liver, stomach, and intestines (which later showed to be be the peritoneum- which is the membrane that forms the lining of the abdominal cavity). It was then that the doctor told us that Dad has cancer. He wasn't sure what type of cancer it was being that it had spread to multiple organs. Dad then chose to be admitted to the oncology unit. A biopsy was ordered for the next day when his blood would be thick enough (being that he was on blood thinners), as well as a brain MRI to see how far the cancer had spread.
At approximately 11 a.m. the oncologist made her rounds and came to discuss Dad's case. The biopsy that Dad would have done would tell us where the cancer originated which would tell us what the treatment and prognosis looks like. She believes the cancer originated from either the lungs or colon, but either way, was Stage 4 and treatment would be to merely shrink or contain the tumors. At Stage 4, it is no longer curable. A decision that we hope no one ever has to make, Dad decided to live the rest of his days to the fullest without the doctor appointments, medication, and pain that comes along with cancer treatment. The biopsy and brain MRI were cancelled and Dad was able to finally enjoy his chicken noodle soup and strawberry ice cream off of the hospital menu that he was eyeing up. He was discharged at around 2 p.m.
Dad is home now and enjoying the company of his family. It will be a rough road ahead, but we are looking forward to making it the best for Dad. We will continue to document his journey via this Caring Bridge site to keep everyone informed.
We cannot express our gratitude enough for those that helped and called for help at the supper, showed their support, and have kept us in their prayers. We are blessed to have so many good people in our lives.