Journal

Journal entry by Michael Bischoff

My name is Emily and I will be hosting a worship and talent show in support of Michael’s healing this Saturday. Michael and his family invite you to join us.

I am in awe of the healing love that has carried Michael and family through these first weeks of healing adventures. Let’s celebrate this awesome love and community!

Healing is a creative act. That’s why Michael wants to use his crafts of group gatherings and personal reflections to activate his healing energy. He’ll be sharing some thoughts about what this adventure has meant to him so far. It might be brief…we’ll see about his energy level. He’ll inspire our prayerful reflections.

Michael also wants to celebrate the creativity of his community. There will be some music and an unexpected stunt in a green suit.

All of us are healing something, creating something, and encountering the unknown. May all of us benefit from the healing love we will celebrate on Saturday.

Details:

Saturday, October 10, 3:30 – 5 p.m.

Faith Mennonite Church, 2720 E 22nd St., Minneapolis, MN 55406

 Volunteer Help Welcome!

We could use volunteer help for set-up and clean-up. You can contact me at emily@wisdomdances.com.

Calling all holistic cake healers and snack makers – we could use some of your help too.

Journal entry by Kari Cornell

Hi, Everyone,
My name is Kari, and I'm a friend of Jenny and Michael's who is helping to organize the food drop off schedule. First, thanks so much for the great response so far! I know Jenny and Michael will appreciate the meals you provide. 

I did just want to add another reminder that although it looks as if food is needed every day during the month of October, Jenny and Michael would prefer to have meals delivered every other day. So before signing up for a date, simply make sure that no one else has signed up for the day before or the day after. My apologies for the confusion...I'm a newbie.

Thanks again for your generous donations!

-Kari

Journal entry by Jenny Larson

Hi all,

Things are going well around here. Michael is napping a lot and taking it easy. He's been taking some short walks in the neighborhood. Right now he's out on a walk with Isaiah and Grace. Besides some Tylenol now and then, Michael isn't on any pain meds. His scar is healing well (although it looks like an early Halloween costume). We're processing the cancer diagnosis and wondering about what's next in terms of treatment. Will find out more when we visit the next doctor on Wednesday.

In a few minutes I'm going to leave for the airport to pick up Christy and Harry and their kids, Michael's sister and family. They are going to help and visit, they'll be here for a couple of weeks. They'll be staying in the neighborhood. We're looking forward to time with then.

You may have noticed a task list on our Caring Bridge page. We have set up a schedule for meals, but we're still working out the bugs in the system -- right now it looks like we want a meal every day, but we're thinking every other day. We hope to make that schedule more clear! But just in case it's not, I know we're set for meals for the rest of this week. 

Thanks for all of your comments here!
Jenny



Journal entry by Jenny Larson

Hello on this beautiful, sunny fall afternoon. Happily, I'm writing from the couch while Michael is in bed napping. He's home from the hospital! We got back here this morning and have enjoyed a quiet day so far. Michael is feeling pretty good, but still definitely recovering from brain surgery. He's not up for visitors today, just taking it easy.

Michael wanted me to remind you of the
gathering he's planning, with help, for next Saturday, Oct. 10 at 3:30. Location to be announced.

Love,
Jenny

Journal entry by Michael Bischoff

First some of the wonderful stuff from the surgery:
  • The doctors and nurses say I have recovered a fast as anyone has ever seen recover from this type of brain surgery. Go team!
  • The doctors thought there was a decent chance that I'd lose some functioning because of the surgery--such as peripheral vision, control of my left hand, some speech, etc. As far as we can tell so far, none of that has happened. I think that image of the red sea parting helped do the trick.
  • Just for the record, the Twins won the game they played during the surgery, and their game last night.
  • I'm feeling mostly 100% right now.  
The doctors found out the biopsy test results from the tumor today. It is a cancerous kind. Even though they got almost all of it out, I still most likely need radiation and chemo to get the small pieces out so it doesn't group more. So, we still need the waterfalls to gently wash out small pieces of unhelpful pieces that need to go back into the ground. So on Wednesday Jenny and I go meet with a great brain tumor doctor, and we'll figure out next treatment steps with him. 
I'll probably go home tomorrow, and will probably be able to do the radiation and chemo as an outpatient, with short visits. Hopefully, there won't be huge side effects either. 

We'll probably have a gathering to provide some updates, love each other, and celebrate on Saturday, October 10 at about 3:30 pm. Stay tuned. 
Thank you very much for sticking in there with us. 

Love,
Michael



Journal entry by Jenny Larson

Dear friends,

I was feeling pretty out if it yesterday. But this morning I'm feeling alive and grateful. I can feel all of your love holding me up. I knew it was there yesterday, but I was too out if it to feel it. I'm walking around, peeing, eating, almost ready for a bike ride. Your love has pulled me through.

I might get out of the hospital as early as tomorrow. We haven't heard more results yet, but we trust we can handle anything, especially with your help.

Love,
Michael

Journal entry by Jenny Larson

Some of the euphoria of getting through surgery successfully is wearing off, as brain surgery does require recovery. Michael had some intense headaches today and nausea, somewhat similar to the headaches he had in the past month -- that clued us in that something was wrong. The doctors said it's expected that his head would be agitated and he'd have headaches today, but it's still hard to watch. It's a bit tricky to time the pain meds right to head off the pain, and the headaches as well as the pain meds cause nausea. So. Michael was pretty quiet today, resting, trying to sleep, getting through the pain/nausea.

Michael did have a moment of feeling somewhat better and took a walk a little ways down the hall and back. And he spent a little time sitting up in a chair. That felt like progress.

I'm pretty tired, but appreciating the support in text messages, emails, comments here, phone calls, visits, food, and more. Once we know when Michael is coming home, we will set up a more organized plan for ways people can help. We're pretty well set for food at the moment, but will let you know when we could use meals.

love,
Jenny







Journal entry by Jenny Larson

Good morning all. We have felt your care and love so strongly.

Michael has head pain and a bit of nausea here and there. He's not as energetic as when he came out of surgery last night. He didn't sleep a lot (neither did I). But he's happy to be here. Last night he bypassed ICU and went straight to a regular room because he was recovering so well. Also because the ICU was rather full, but we're grateful. As much as he was poked and checked on last night, it was less than it would have been in ICU.

One detail from yesterday. The word got out among the surgery staff, nurses, anesthetists, etc that Michael biked to the hospital that day. Everyone was really impressed and many people said they'd never heard of anyone else doing that. :)

We will probably find out more about the pathology of the tumor tomorrow. What kind it is and if there are more treatments ahead. Right now we're focusing on healing from surgery.

Love,
Jenny

Journal entry by Jenny Larson

I got to go back and say hi to Michael a little while ago. He was sweet and alert. So so good to get to hold his hand and kiss him on the cheek. The bandage on his head isn't even that big. Our primary doctor was impressed by how good he looked. Just waiting for him to be assigned a room, then I'll get to hang out with him. Thanks for all the love and prayers today. It was lovely to check comments throughout the day and feel so many of you with us.

Journal entry by Janne Flisrand

I'm the early-morning bicycle rider, also helping with updates during times when it's hard for Jenny and Michael to do them.

I  just got a text message from Jenny:

"I just talked to the surgeon. They're done! It went well with no complications. Less time than they anticipated. He said the tumor didn't come from another source in the body."


I gave her a quick call, and she is super-relieved, and it sounds like the afternoon passed relatively quickly, thanks to the presence of friends and family. "I felt cared for." There was good conversation and lots of snacks. 

Grace and Isaiah are at home with Jenny's sister, and she's expecting they'll come by later this evening when he wakes up. 

Journal entry by Michael Bischoff

I found out yesterday that I have a brain tumor that probably needs surgery soon. Let the healing adventures begin! 

I've been having headaches for the past month, but both the neurologist and I were surprised when they found a tumor in an MRI this week. They did a second MRI yesterday, and I have a consultation appointment with a neurosurgeon on Monday. I'm guessing they'll plan a surgery within the next week or two. We don't know much about the tumor yet, including if it is cancerous or not. 

I have felt surrounded by loving support. I'm very grateful for that. I have felt scared, sad, and numb--but I have felt the love of friends and family more deeply than anything else so far. I welcome more of that!!

Physically, I'm mostly feeling great right now, with just a tiny amount of pain on the back of my head. 
An image that I'm holding is that this tumor has come with a message, asking me to slow down and pay attention in new ways. I'm also imagining that the tumor has served its purpose, and that, a couple days ago, it started to shrink. I haven't had any headaches in the past few days. I invite you to hold this image with me, of this tumor shrinking and melting in beams of love. 

As you may know, I'm quite into that spiritual stuff. I understand this journey as an invitation to become closer and closer in intimacy with God and the source of life--both for me and those I'm connected with. Sharing that path with me and letting me know of your journey is about the most supportive thing I can imagine. I also know many people I love aren't into the spiritual or religious stuff, and I look forward to welcoming love and support in many other ways too. 

I'm very grateful that you are with me on this adventure. Jenny and I will put updates on this page and also let you know ways to be supportive and connected.

Gratefully, Michael
Michael’s Story

Site created on September 25, 2015

I found out on Sept. 24, 2015 that I have a brain tumor. I had surgery the next week, and started radiation and chemo shortly after that. It is an aggressive kind of cancer called Glioblastoma, that requires ongoing treatment. We've created this site to keep friends and family updated. We set up another web page for people who would to give money to help pay the medical bills and also support our work and healing: https://www.gofundme.com/healing-for-michael-and-family (https://www.gofundme.com/healing-for-michael-and-family.   We) . We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most. Thank you!!

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