Tom Triesenberg

First post: May 9, 2020 Latest post: May 20, 2020
On July 19, Tom was diagnosed with colon cancer.  About 6-9 months prior, Tom had noticed when he played soccer that he found it very difficult to ‘recover’ after subbing out of play.  He went to the doctor and they ran some blood tests.  Those determined he was severely anemic.  They started iron supplements and ordered stool testing. They found significant blood in the stool and ordered a colonoscopy to determine where the bleeding was coming.  It was on that day that they found his tumor.  After his first round of chemo (about 2 month time frame) they did a ct scan and found significant spreading which now meant he was stage 4 (stage 3 is curable and 4 is not).  Most of the spreading was around the colon area but it also moved to his neck.  Over the next 7 month period he underwent 4 different chemo formulas.  At times they seemed to slow the spreading but it was still evident. We had hopes to try immunotherapy trial next but that required a four week flush from Chemo.  Just a few weeks into this he began experiencing severe abdominal pain. Although in the middle of COVID he thought he needed to take the risk and went to the ER.  They ran another ct scan and found several partial blockages due to the severe inflammation from the cancer and also a thinning wall of the colon at the tumor site.  Both are extremely dangerous because of the risk of perforation.  The doctor determined surgery was necessary.  The surgery went well but the recovery was a longer process as his ‘system didn’t want to wake up’ so they needed to insert a NG tube. After several days progress was made, the NG tube was taken out, he was able to eat and digest again and finally come home after 11 days.  In the hospital he started to have back pain.  We assumed this was due to only sleeping on his back in the hospital for so many days but the pain only escalated when he returned home.  No matter what amount of muscle relaxers and pain pills he was taking it didn’t touch the pain.  His oncologist finally told him he needed to return to the hospital and be admitted.  They did an MRI and ct scan.  They found muscle inflammation but also fluid buildup.  He was able to have the 4 L of fluid drained. There was no infection found but of course a great deal of cancer. Being in the hospital during COVID was extremely difficult. Absolutely no visitors.  His health was deteriorating and the pain was just stubborn. His cancer infected area around his neck was extremely aggressively spreading.  The oncologist came in and suggested he consider going home to hospice care.  There weren’t any other treatments they could do when his body was so weak.    He desperately wanted to be home with his family and be surrounded by love.  He is presently home under hospice care.  They are keeping him comfortable and his pain managed.  We thank our friends and family for the outpouring of love and support.  Tom is a blessing to so many, a mentor to countless people, has a brilliant engineering mind, is a volunteer in the community, a loving and involved father, a devoted and every so sweet husband, a fun and spunky uncle, a loyal son, and a friend to so many.  We all love him dearly.   

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