Jay’s Story

Site created on February 18, 2019

Starting in November 2018, Jay started experiencing pain in his back and hip.  After working in a machine shop on his feet his whole life, he figured it was time for a new hip.  He went to an orthopedic doctor and they did an xray of his hip and leg.  They called him to come in for further imagine as they saw something concerning.  After a CT scan was done, they then did a biopsy of his pelvis.  On December 3rd, we got the news nobody wants to hear, you have cancer.  He was diagnosed with stage IV renal cell carcinoma that had metastasized to his bones, effecting his spine, hips, pelvis and left femur.  As this is not curable, chemo was not an option, but immunotherapy to try to slow the progression of the cancer and maintain it.  Later that month, he started his transfusions, 4 rounds 3 weeks apart.  In January, the pain in his leg was becoming unbearable.  After a trip to the ER and another xray, the doc told him to be extremely careful with his left leg, the cancer was eating away the bone in his femur.  Later that week, his leg broke.  He was transported to Duluth where he had a metal rod put in his leg and spent a few days in the hospital.  After he was discharged, he went to a rehab facility for about 3 weeks to get strength back and have physical therapy twice a day, he did great.  After completing his 4th round of immunotherapy, they scheduled a PET scan and a MRI of his brain.  Before they could even get out to the car to leave, they called and said get to the ER ASAP.  The MRI showed that the cancer had now spread to his brain.  He was transported to Duluth to see the neurosurgeon.  After a second, more detailed MRI was done, they decided that the tumor needs to come out.  Since he takes aspirin every day, surgery could not be done right away, he has to be off of it for about a week.  They put him on anti seizure meds and also steroids to help bring the swelling down.  His vision has been effected some by the swelling and the doc says that will not get better, and might even be a little worse after surgery.  2 weeks after surgery, he will have to do radiation to make sure they get all of the tumor.  Surgery is scheduled for Wednesday, March 20th at Essentia Health in Duluth.  They said he will be closely monitored in the ICU for 2-3 days and then a regular room for another 2-3 days.  Continued updates will be posted through this Caring Bridge site.

Newest Update

Journal entry by Denise Gorsuch

A celebration of life will be held for Jay, Saturday, June 1st at noon at the Swatara Community Hall. 
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