Welcome to the Caring Bridge site for my dad, Stanley H. Barnes! We continue to have people checking in for updates on dad's health developments so we thought it would be good to have one location that everyone can get to.
As you probably know already, the tumor they removed from dad's abdominal area turned out to be cancerous, but a very rare kind. So rare that he was sent to the University of Michigan to meet with the only specialist in the state who deals with his type of cancer. Sadly, we did not get the best news from this person. He told us that dad's tumor grew from a type of cancer cells that hang out in the abdominal area. Because of the type of cells that they are, he was confident that the removal of the tumor did NOT remove the cancer cells. They are still there, potentially doing any number of things.
Because these types of cancer cells exist in the abdominal area, radiation won't work because it would harm his intestines. The chemo therapy treatment recommended is an intense 36 day course which is a risk to his health overall and only provides a 50% chance of getting all of these unique cancer cells. His other options so far are constant CT scans (every two months) to try to catch anything that grows and then surgery to remove anything that shows up (more fun!). All of this is confusing and difficult for all of us to process. It is also very difficult for my dad to be aware that he has cancer in his body just waiting to develop somehow, possibly requiring more surgery which is not exactly his favorite way to spend his time.
Adding to dad's concerns is my mom's loss of her short term memory, making it impossible to leave her at home alone. We praise God that mom continues to be her amazingly positive and friendly self, but this additional pressure weighs on all of us, especially dad.
Thank you for caring about dad and his health journey. Please let us know if you have any input and as always, we so appreciate your prayers and words of encouragement. Dad is currently investigating getting a second opinion at the Cancer Center of America in Chicago, IL, but that is expensive and also not the easiest trip to make. We will keep you posted here on what we discover as we try to find the best path forward for dad and mom.