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.
On Monday, August 27, Dennis went in for a colonoscopy after experiencing some gastric discomfort. While attempting the colonoscopy, a mass which almost completely obstructed the colon was found. That evening, he was admitted to Shawnee Mission Medical Center where surgery was performed on Wednesday, 8/29, by Dr. Bruce Graham. At the time of surgery, it was discovered that the tumor was the size of a large orange and was growing into the bladder and prostate, but was localized to the pelvic area. Because of the size of the tumor, they were only able to biopsy it (which confirmed a diagnosis of cancer) and remove the appendix. In addition, an ileostomy was placed to reroute digestion while treatment to shrink the tumor is in progress.
Murph was released from the hospital about a week after the surgery and has been recovering at home with the help of family, friends, and home health nurses. He’s adjusting well to his ileostomy. A recent visit with his oncologist, Dr. Stuart Hinton at KU, confirmed that the cancer is Stage 3 and is localized to the pelvis with no spread to his liver or lungs, which is a huge positive.
On Monday, 10/1, a treatment regimen of radiation and chemotherapy will begin. For 5 weeks, Dennis will receive radiation 5 days a week and, on those days, also take oral chemo. About 6 weeks after completing the radiation/chemo, another surgery will be performed to remove what remains of the tumor. We expect that surgery to be performed around early to mid-December. After recovering from the surgery, he will have about 4 months of IV chemo to ensure that all cancer cells have been eliminated.
Dennis feels well and remains very positive. He plans to return to work on October 8.
Again, we appreciate all the prayers and support we have received.