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6/10/2017 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. In January Dad was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer and chronic COPD with emphysema. The doctors estimated it was a stage 3A or 3B at that time. He received chemo and radiation, along with consolidation ending in July. He tolerated treatment with relative ease and had a great result. Subsequent scans indicated continued improvement and he was doing great. In September, we celebrated with a train trip out to Seattle. It was a trip of a lifetime and life was good! Following his March scans, showing no reoccurrence, Dad's left hand began to show signs of paralysis. This led us to tests that revealed a brain metastasis which put him at stage 4 lung cancer. He was immediately put on steroids and anti-seizure medications to control the swelling and avoid any seizures. In early May he had Gamma-knife radiation to his brain, which his doctors felt was successful; however, as the month progressed, Dad's health regressed. He had severe swelling from the steroid and became quite weak, with difficulty breathing. On June 4th Dad got to the point where he could no longer get up on his own, so we admitted him into Waconia hospital. After 4 days of tests and assessments, it became apparent he needed more comprehensive care and was transferred to Abbott. At the time of this entry, the doctors believe he has an A-typical form of pneumonia and requires 24 hour oxygen to breathe comfortably. He has a small lung embolism that will require blood thinners in the hopes of not developing more clots. He is in bed most of the time and is quite lethargic. There are some diagnostic procedures that could further help diagnose his weakness; however, his oxygen levels are too low for him to tolerate at this time. Our hope is that the meds will make him stronger, so that we can have more time with our amazing dad...as you all know, he is just the best and this has been more than difficult to deal with. He has remained very optimistic and puts up with all of this in his adorable, sarcastic way. Last night they told him he couldn't eat after midnight and he turns to us and says, "We'll see about that!" The doctors and nurses all love him and can see what a special person he is! And you know, he is following in Mom's footsteps in how to deal with this awful disease--with humor and positivity. He learned from the best!