Hello everyone! This is Erin, Ron's step-daughter, and I am starting this website as a central place for all of Ron's friends and family to visit to learn about Ron's updates and progress. Thank you for visiting! Ron loves to hear from you and has really enjoyed your Facebook posts of encouragement, love, and support. I wanted to be able to capture all of the love in one place for Ron so he is able to read your notes in one location.
I am going to try and give a brief summary of Ron's journey so far. Forgive me for not being perfect on the details, but I will try and get the story straight after my mom and Ron read this :) For those of you that don't know, Ron was diagnosed with multiple myeloma cancer in March 2015 after being admitted to the hospital for the flu, pneumonia in both lungs, and other medical issues. He started chemotherapy treatment once he was healthy enough shortly following. Chemo has mostly been by pill form; I know the doctors had to switch up the type when the first one was not effective, but other than that I don't remember exact details. In the mean time Ron retired from Bakers due to his medical leave time limit being up and my mom stopped work in order to be Ron's primary care taker at home while he undergoes treatment.
After much hope and waiting, on January 5th 2016, he was admitted to start intense chemotherapy in attempts to bring the cancer numbers low enough to have a successful stem cell transplant. He had two rounds of intense chemotherapy before being admitted for his stem cell transplant.
On March 1st 2016, he started a stem cell transplant at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. It was a difficult time for Ron but the transplant was successful and he made it home after 2 weeks. He was able to recuperate and begin chemotherapy treatments again (which is normal after stem cell transplants). As Ron was able, Ron and mom would go on walks and eventually they were able to run at the track of a high school near their home. Ron never missed a day at the track and did well in his recovery.
In June, Ron and Judy celebrated their 10 year wedding anniversary with a trip to Lost Lake Lodge in Minnesota. It was certainly a much needed vacation and they enjoyed their time relaxing, fishing, boating, even participating in the turtle races in town! On August 9th he celebrated 25 years of sobriety which he was able to celebrate with family and friends.
Unfortunately at the end of July, Ron began experiencing severe back pain. After an MRI, they found a tumor on Ron's spinal cord and began radiation treatment. On August 19th, Ron was admitted to the hospital after losing feeling in his legs. They took him to the hospital by ambulance because he couldn't walk and did another MRI. The tumor had not shrunk from the radiation and had pushed part of his vertebrae into his spinal cord. They performed Decompressive laminectomy surgery on August 20th with extremely positive results as the doctors were able to remove 98% of the tumor. Unfortunately, Ron still does not have feeling in his legs and is currently at Madonna Rehabilitation Center in Lincoln, NE. He has started physical and occupational therapy and has made a lot of progress in just the one week he has been there. This brings you up to speed with Ron's journey at this point.
Throughout this experience, there have definitely been highs and lows. One thing that has remained is Ron's love for God, his family, and his friends. He never misses the opportunity to put his situation in perspective and give thanks for everything he has been given. Just yesterday, on his 60th birthday, he told me a story about meeting another patient in the Rehabilitation Clinic who also graduated from Gehlen Catholic High School in Le Mars, IA. As usual, Ron was making jokes and sang the fight song for the girl who had just recently graduated this year. He has been facing this cancer head on and appreciates all of the support you give him! I know I could speak for Ron in saying he is overwhelmed by your love and I know you all will continue showing your love and support. So thank you and God bless you!