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7/16/2017 Latest post:
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting. The photo is of Rod with granddaughter Sydney in the summer of 2015. We were all concerned with the weight loss. His main concern was the "lumps" he was getting on his head because it was getting difficult to wear his hard hat for work. (He was working on the new Sanford Hospital in Fargo and really enjoyed the job and guys he was working with.) Never a fan of doctors, he decided he wanted to go see a dermatologist to have "a couple of lumps" removed. (There were many more.) We ended up traveling to Bismarck for removal and diagnosis- Large B cell Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. He started treatment at Roger Maris Cancer Center in Fargo in December 2015 and ended the year with the first of six 5-day in hospital treatments. That chemo regimen ended in May 2016 and a later PT scan showed him to be in remission- a huge relief. See you in 6 months! His hope to return to work though was diminished due to weakness and injuries from falls during his treatments. He worked to improve over time with the help of the Hillsboro PT gals but relies on his cane yet. Climbing ladders and carrying tools and wires are out. It is what it is. December was the 6 month checkup and the cancer was on the scan again. Because it was unknown how long he had it before it became so advanced previously, they decided to wait 3 months and scan again. The next scan called for action. He had 3 more sessions of chemotherapy and now we are at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Mn. After the past 4 days of tests, today he was approved for a stem cell transplant! His doctor was very encouraged with the results of his tests saying the chemo did its job well knocking back the cancer cells. The transplant will be the double whammy! Rod received his first injection of medication to help him produce so many stem cells they will spill out of the bone marrow and into the blood. So here we are. We are staying in our camper at a nice campground close to the airport. And, of course, Bernie is along. For those of you who don't know- Bernie is our dog and Rod's shadow. Tomorrow Rod has an early appointment for another injection and a procedure to place a port for harvest of the stem cells and eventual transplant. All of the stem cells Rod will receive will be the ones he produces over this next week- the goal is 4 million! Who knew?! But of course as all this is happening, we cannot forget all of you who have supported us through this crazy maze. And those who continue to - I heard tonight that our yard is mowed and driveway cleared of branches- Thank you! So much to be grateful for- Thank you for all good deeds, thoughts, calls and prayers! My hope is to be able to keep posting to keep you up to date on Rod's progress. Take care and have a good night.