Ken | Journal | CaringBridge

Journal entry by Nancy Hansen

Ken hadn’t been feeling well for over a year now, but was originally just told it’s because he was a middle aged smoker and that’s why he couldn’t breathe. Fast forward to 2 months ago...Ken had a large lump on the side of his throat that he first noticed at Lawson’s baseball game. Thinking it was just a weird bug bite he didn’t rush in to get it checked. He had a doctor appointment coming up so rather he waited and told his doctor at that time. His wonderful new doctor wasn’t giving up on figuring out why Ken couldn’t breathe. His breathing by this time was getting considerably worse and he couldn’t walk short distances without using a walking stick so he could stop and take a breathe. He had stress tests done and a CT scan done searching for the reasons for his breathing. It was during the CT scan that “something” showed up.  We then had a biopsy done on the lump on Ken’s throat. By this time he had lumps on both sides of his neck, around his lungs and down his spine. With anxious hearts we went to his follow up with his doctor after the biopsy...and heard the words nobody wants to hear. You have that time we didn’t know how bad. We had to get a PET scan, again waiting is always the hardest but it was really quick. All of this has happened within the last 2 weeks, including the PET scan. We got the results of the scan while sitting with Dr. B Ken’s oncologist. The news we heard devastated us but we were so numb it didn’t really settle in until a few days later. Ken has Stage 4 Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The only place he doesn’t have it is his brain. It’s in his bones, his liver,lungs, spleen everywhere.  You can’t imagine what it was like to see the pictures of the scan as all the cancer in his body just lights up. It was a shock. Dr B scheduled a port and chemo to start just 2 days after we got the news.

Yesterday, September 10th, started our journey. We arrived at the hospital to have Ken’s port installed. There were laughs among the worries though. Great staff, great doctors and excellent communication.  Ken’s Surgeon came out to talk to me right after he had closed Ken up, unfortunately Kne’s cancer was so bad he couldn’t put the port where he wanted too and instead had to put it in his neck through his jugular vein. Dr. S tried 5 different times to put the port in but was stopped every time by a new blockage of the cancer.  The oncologist Dr B, came out to visit with me right after the surgery as well to let me know that the cancer had gotten worse just in the few days since the PET scan and Ken needed chemo now and not later.  The chemo she needed to start is highly aggressive to stop the spread as quick as possible. Again, not news anyone wants to hear and downright scary.  Through all of this Ken keeps telling me, “I’m here for you and I love you”. I keep telling him it’s supposed to be the other way around. What a guy, he makes me smile.

Today, September 11, this is our first day of chemo, my Mom, Nancy is here with us at the hospital keeping us company. Ken will be blogging about his experiences from his point of view, this is going to be from mine and the kids’ view of what’s happening to him.  We were told that Ken will have chemo tomorrow as well. He will have 8 total treatments every 21 here starts our journey. My thoughts and prayers are with any family that has or is going through this. I cried at the pharmacy yesterday when I was told there was no charge for the 7 prescriptions I had to get for Ken, why? Because we had already maxed out our out of pocket...terrible reason to cry but I was overwhelmed.  I will do my best to keep posting on here. Keep Ken in your thoughts and prayers as well as all other families that are going through this. It’s definitey been a learning experience and yes really overwhelming. 

We we have been blessed though, we have wonderful support from family and friends. Helping us balance the kids and work and we couldn’t do it without them.
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