Nov 30, 2018 Latest post:
Dec 31, 2018
Last year, Steve was diagnosed with lung cancer at which point he underwent a lobectomy and later received 4 months of chemotherapy. He appeared to have radiculopathy,(a common side effect of the chemo) but when it progressively got worse, additional testing revealed 8 small tumors that had metastasized to his brain.
Over the past year, Steve has remained dedicated to fighting this, and his fight for life underscores his dogged determination that we have all come to know. His cancer journey is replete with examples of working through the pain, a characteristic that he has expected from our sons and has courageously set an example of.
One such example of this determination was when he underwent his lobectomy last year. He continued to work about an hour each day over the phone, or meeting with his assistant in the ICU hospital room to go over important matters. Then, just 4 weeks later, he rode his bike across the San Francisco Bridge. At times however, his determination meets with stubbornness like when despite his marked difficulty walking, he snuck out of the house early in the morning to the local restaurant to pick up blueberry pancakes which have proven to be his new love. That bulldog determination has partly contributed to him getting this far, and I need to frequently remind myself of this.
Around 3 weeks ago Steve underwent brain radiation which he completed, but developed brain swelling which can be a side effect. Symptoms related to this landed him in the hospital for the 3 days and proved to be a rocky ride. Prior to his hospital visit, Steve had been slowly weaned off his steroids, but they decided to re-administer them to eliminate the inflammation that had caused Steve’s decline over Thanksgiving.
Additionally, when he was admitted, I was told that he was going into early stages of heart failure, but this was later refuted as his echocardiogram ended up looking great. So many frustrating unknowns, but Steve is back home, trying to get control of his life. He is still experiencing numbness in his extremities and periodic numbness in his abdomen.
The plan now is to begin a round of chemotherapy/immunotherapy on Friday. We are hopeful that this will improve his symptoms. If this phase of treatment doesn’t work, we are waiting to see if he is a candidate for other treatment options recommended by his physician at Duke University Medical Center.
Steve has had many conference calls with our son Harrison who is serving a mission in Argentina. Steve insisted that Harrison stay. Steve told Harrison that he was fighting this to the end and told him that if he comes home now that will send Steve the message that it is time to give up. Our plan is to revisit this every 3 weeks. Harrison will continue to sort through many emotions and information. He understands that because people care, they naturally desire to weigh in on the timing of his return from Argentina, but has asked that we refrain from doing so as this decision will ultimately be one made between Harrison and his Dad.
As Harrison is sorting through many emotions, so are Spencer, Calvin and I. We are surrounded by loving family and friends. I can’t thank you enough. Your kindness, compassion and help is simply overwhelming. We feel very loved.
It has been a roller coaster of emotions, symptoms, information, projections and goal setting. We will keep you posted on Steve’s progress as best we can. Steve is Gung ho and expects you to be as positive as he is!
You can do Steve a favor by sending good vibes to Michigan. Let’s not have any more disastrous football games. Go Blue!
Again, thank you for your love, calls, visits, texts, meals, rides, grocery shopping, words of wisdom, emotional and spiritual support, expert medical advise that led us in the right direction, and even a personal tour of Duke University. There is no way we could have made it this far without each of you. We are so grateful. Thank you. ~Wendi