This is Jennie (Steve's Daughter, here in Minnesota)
Dad had been having neck and upper back pain for a few weeks. He was admitted to the brand new Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center on Tuesday April 25, 2017 where the Orthopedic Neurological Spinal Surgeon Dr. Tong performed a nine hour surgical procedure on dad.
After the long surgery was completed, Dr. Tong explained to me that Steve had a C3-C5 fracture. This is in the upper back/neck region decompression of the spine. The MRI did show an infiltration in that area. Once they got in, they discovered an infringement on the spinal cord that was removed. They saw no other legions to be worried about There were no complications during the surgery and no complication afterwards . The mass (infringement) was sent for a biopsy immediately.
On Monday, May 1st 2017 we found out that Dad had prostate cancer that had spread to the spine. The cancer is what caused the cervical fracture. It had been growing for many years.
Steve was moved to the Carmel Mountain Rehabilitation and Health Care Facility on Tuesday May 2nd, 2017. It is about 15 miles from home so Lupita can drive and be with him everyday. There he will receive the rehabilitation he requires and the care he deserves. During this time he will be in the care of the Oncologist Dr. Lew. I talked to dad tonight, Wednesday May 3rd, 2017 for quite awhile. He was in good spirits and talked frankly about the situation. They did a body/bone scan and did find that the prostate cancer has metastasized to other areas of his body. He did not go into detail as the full picture is not fully known yet. He did tell me that he has Stage 4 Prostate cancer. They were going to wait to start chemotherapy but started it today. He said he will be receiving chemo shots and will be doing rehabilitation 1-2 times per day. He is eating well and said the food there was "awesome". He told me he was walking around and only in pain when he is moving. The feeling is coming back in his hands and arms but he is still not able to answer or hold a phone. I believe the surgery corrected the problem in that area but he will be dealing with the cancer for a very long time. We do not know the prognosis but we pray and strive to have dad with us for as long as possible.
I know this will be a hard and lonely time for him since he is so used to being a very active guy. He will need tons of support!!! We appreciate ALL your prayers and support. At this point we have no idea how long he will be at Carmel Mountain. Please also keep Lupita and the rest of his family in your thoughts and prayers as we are all still trying to process the situation. Thankfully, San Diego has awesome weather so he can hopefully get outside often. He has already had a few good friends visit him.
For me, the hardest part is not being there with him. I want so desperately to take action and "do something". I want to help Lupita with all that she now has to take on. I want to be able to hug dad and tell him how much I love him every day. I will be travelling there on Friday June 23rd through Monday June 26th, 2017. I can't wait to see him. He told me by that time he will be home and driving. He has always been and is so positive! Dad's sister Lena and my brother Pete also plan to visit him very soon.
Thank you all very much for your care and concern for dad. He loves us all and I know he will be super excited to talk to you once he is able. We sincerely appreciate all your prayers and support!
Love Jennie Halluska
Carmel Mountain Rehabilitation and Health Care Center