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11/15/2016 Latest post:
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. We just celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary on Oct 2nd. We were looking forward to our trip to Las Vegas on October 15th with our dear friends – 3 couples spending a week together of fun, laughter and 35 plus years of friendship & memories of raising our kids together. Suitcases out, last minute shopping the weekend before our trip! Dan was having some back pain for a few weeks, he promised that he would go see a doctor when we got home from our trip if the pain continued. October 10th - The next morning Dan texted me at 5:30 a.m. to say he was coming home because he just didn't feel well and maybe he should make a doctors appointment. When he got home I told him we were going to the ER. We checked into Central DuPage Hospital ER where the doctor examined Dan and said he wanted to do a CT Scan. We were thinking maybe a kidney stone and all would be good to go to Vegas at the end of the week. 45 minutes later the ER doctor came in to tell us he was sorry but Dan had a 10 cm mass on his left kidney and the kidney would have to come out. We would have to meet with urologist to discuss surgery. We were given the name of Dr. Jonas Benson. We called and were very lucky to get an appointment the next day October 11th. We met with Dr. Benson and we were very fortunate he had an opening on October 13th at Delnor hospital to do the surgery. We first had to have a pre-op physical (thank you Dr. Stoecker), CT of the chest and MRI of the abdomen all in a day and a half. We did it! Surgery was scheduled for early morning on October 13th. Is this really happening? October 13th – Surgery day! Surrounded by our children & family and lots of prayers Dan went into surgery. Surgery went well where they removed Dan’s left kidney, repaired an umbilical cord hernia (which Dan did not know he had), removed some nodules and tissue around the kidney. The mass had grown outside the kidney. So now we wait for the pathology results. Dr. Benson told us after surgery that the CT scan showed that there were nodules in both of Dan’s lungs. Not what we wanted to hear, but one step at a time. 4 days later Dan was released from Delnor hospital. We were then referred to Dr. Michael Khan at the Northwestern Medicine Cancer Center. More tests ordered to see if the cancer had spread anywhere else. A PET Scan & an MRI of the brain were ordered. Not the results we were looking for!!! The tests showed that the cancer has spread to other parts of Dan’s body. “Just want to wake up and hope this is all a dream”! Dr. Khan had talked about a treatment called Interleuken 2 and thought Dan would be a good candidate for this treatment. The treatment is not done at our cancer center. We looked into seeing if it was done at Northwestern downtown? It was and that's when we met with Dr. Jeffrey Sosman. A big thank you to Tommy Nealis (Dr. Tom Nealis) for helping us get a sooner appointment. We met with Dr. Sosman on November 4th and discussed our options. Our best shot at a cure (but only a less than 10% chance of a cure) we are opting try the IL 2 treatment. Dan will have to have 5 tests done before we can see if he's a candidate to have this treatment. Last week was a blur trying to get the tests done but “Dan did it” His strength and positive attitude is amazing. We meet again with Dr. Sosman this coming Tuesday to go over the results and plan for treatment. Can't thank our primary care physician Dr. Ashley Stoecker for being there for both Dan & I this past month. Please keep Dan in your prayers. Dan & Joni