Wes Moe

First post: May 10, 2022 Latest post: Sep 14, 2022
As some of you may be aware this Fall  (October) dad had an episode while out getting wood for the upcoming winter where he had disappeared on us.  We found him out of sorts on the ground at the edge of the swamp not far from where we were helping load wood.  Mark and I were able to get him up the hill to the truck, he had little to no recollection at to what had happened.  The best we could gather was he had lost consciousness and had thought at one point he heard mom yelling for him. After hundreds of questions, we determined he may have had a mini stroke (TIA) so his first appointment was scheduled.  

Dad established at that time his primary doctor, Dr. Schotl.  That appointment started a crazy ride of doctor appointments:  blood tests, cardiology, stress tests, heart monitors, echocardiograms, CT Scans, carotid ultrasounds, x-rays.  They did find with all of these tests that he has an irregular heartbeat which is not a huge concern.  They also found that he had a silent heart attack in the past.  Thinking this loss of consciousness was hugely the stress he was under trying to get so many things done before winter, the medical staff continued to dig.  And dad, continued to keep tapping the right side of his chest saying he was getting pain there.  I just kept telling him his heart wasn't on that side and the medical staff questioned whether he had strained something in his chest.

March 27th: I got a call from dad saying that he thought he had just vomited blood.  I, of course, said I would come down to check it out and while on my way there I called RK.  After my call to her, I got to mom and dads and sure enough he vomited blood.  Not one to panic, I figured we would be seeing Dr. Schotl in a few days where RK was kind enough to say "mom this is an ER visit".  Packing dad up in the van off we went to the ER where Randy had to sit outside and wait while dad and I headed in.  Here go the blood tests and another CT Scan.  Results showed a thickening in the stomach but nothing more than that.  Dr Schotl had orders for dad to have a colonoscopy early April which was rescheduled for a later date because they wanted to be sure all was good with dads heart.  Well with that vomiting episode they bumped up the date for his colonoscopy and added an endoscopy. 

April 4th Colonoscopy and Endoscopy - Surgery was fairly quick, dad being wheeled back into the room and pretty awake.  Shortly after eating his toast and having his coffee after the procedure, Dr. Olson walked into the room with his results and photos of his stomach.  He was given the news, "YOU HAVE STOMACH CANCER".  Dr. Olson told dad he would send us to a doctor in Duluth that dealt with stomach cancer basically from the sound of it they would be removing his stomach.  I quickly messaged Randy to meet us and the house so we could talk to mom about the results.  We also wanted to hold off on telling anyone else until they had the opportunity to tell Mark.  That ended up being a whole process with Mark if they choose to share that part of the story.

Of course, now we are thinking dad is having his stomach removed the doctor in Duluth ends up calling saying he doesn't deal with dads type of cancer.  He was very kind saying we could still come for the appointment and he would be happy to talk to us but it really would be a waste of time.  We cancel that appointment and the Grand Itasca Clinic finally calls with an appointment for dad.  What? Not until middle May because the doctor is that booked???? We will see about that since dad has an appointment with his primary, Dr. Schotl on April 8th.  We all know how when someone is sick how quickly you want things to move, but my goodness this is taking forever. 

April 8th: Dr Schotl's visit brought some relief.  He checked to see if dad could get in sooner with Dr Pravatas in Grand Rapids.  Sure enough, he is that booked.  So we request that dad has a referral which Dr Schotl is happy to give and has sent him to Minnesota Oncology to Dr. Kochuparambil, 

April 14th: Down to Minneapolis to see Dr. K where we learned that dad had a diffuse Non Hodgkins Lymphoma in his stomach.  This somewhat explained why he kept saying his chest hurt, it was the feeling of fullness and pressure from the tumor growing in his stomach.  After the visit with Dr. K, we spent the night in Shakopee because the following morning he would be having a PET Scan in Maplewood.  Follow up appointments were made through telehealth with Dr. K with the results of the PET Scan for the following week and with the nutritionist.  

April 19th: Dr. K. called with the results of the PET Scan saying that it didn't look like the cancer had spread to the lymph nodes and he did not see that the cancer had spread to the bones or elsewhere.  He would get the ball rolling for dad to receive treatment in Grand Rapids with Dr Pravatas. The plan of attach R mini CHOP, which would be 3 sessions of chemo and possibly a 4th or radiation. 

April 20th:  Another Telehealth visit but with the nutritionist this time.  She says it is important he gets in the calories.  By this time dad has lost a ton of weight - 135 lbs. She made some suggestions but the biggest challenge I think is the dread.  That feeling of fullness and the gas pressure because of the tumor.  But who can complain when the nutritionist says eat all the cake, pie, sweets that you want.

April 21st: Grand Itasca Oncology with Dr. Pravatas - after waiting for what seemed forever we meet with Dr Pravatas and he also went over the results.  He is confident that this type of cancer is treatable.  He also said Lymphoma but notice one node that may be affected.  He is a Christian man and told dad he will pray for him.  NOTE: Dads date to see oncology at Grand Itasca was May 24th.  We are still ahead of the game.  This is the craziest ride!!  One benefit is a lot of the blood test and things they needed were already done in Dr. K's office so this helps so much!

April 28th: Cardiology in Duluth at 08:30 - another echo cardiogram so dad can be clear for surgery to have his port placed for the chemo  - Chemo education at 3pm via a phone call.  

April 29th: Covid Test to clear for the port surgery

May 2nd: 7am dad goes in for his port placement.  The port is for all of his blood tests and where the will push the chemo through since it is so hard on the veins they find it best to do the port.  Also, less stick for bloodwork which will be each time he goes in to keep an eye on his  WBC, RBC and platelets.

May 3rd: 9am Nutrition in Grand Rapids.  Well I think this was the eye opener for dad.  RK kept mentioning that since he has lost so much weight she was surprised they hadn't mentioned a feeding tube yet.  Well ... she did.  Ideally she would like him to take in about 3000 calories a day.  That will be a struggle for him since he gets so uncomfortable.  If he can't turn this around after the first week there will be more discussion on this since he is so thin and weak.

May 9th: 8:30 am dad will have his first Chemo/Infusion treatment.  This is going to be a 7 hour treatment so I will try to get logged in and attach some photos.  I am hoping he takes this time to sleep, which he does a lot of and will sit and watch TV.  I will spend part of this time with him then head home to nap since I will be on nights that evening, Randy will switch out to sit with him for the last half. 

One thing we have to be really mindful of at this point is exposing him to colds or other sickness since he will be so compromised.  Pray for health, wellness and weight gain 🙄 as we continue this journey.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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