Randy’s Story

Site created on September 11, 2018

Randy's bladder has been problematic for many years.  A low grade papillary cancer was found in 2008 which led to yearly cystoscopies.   Since bladder cancers almost always come back, and come back worse, the yearly checks were just part of life.   As feared,  a second bladder cancer,  high-grade carcinoma in situ, was diagnosed in 2017.   That resulted in treatments and quarterly checks.   A third,  bladder cancer was found in August 2018.  That one was much worse and required removal of his bladder and prostate.  That was challenging, of course, but not totally unwelcome.  Get that stinking thing out of there!     

This cancer was found early before any evidence of spread.   Randy is young, otherwise healthy, and a good candidate for a surgery that formed a new bladder from small intestine.    Because we are mobile, we opted to come to the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale for treatment and  surgery.   It is one of the premier facilities in the country in addressing bladder cancer. 

We are working with a surgeon who specializes in  neobladder surgeries,  doing 1-2 per week.   Randy had intensive chemotherapy for about eight weeks.  Surgery was  in mid December.  We eventually made the decision to move out of the trailer and into a home in Surprise, Arizona as we didn't feel we were ready to take off anytime soon for full time travel.  Now we hope to be winter residents and summer travelers.

Although we certainly welcome personal contact, we also opted to make this CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated and appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.

Newest Update

Journal entry by Serene Matthews

We left the house this morning at 6:45 and got home at 5:45 but it was a very good day at Mayo.   Randy started tests at 8:45, had several throughout the day, and we met with his surgeon (who continues to follow his case) about 4:15.  It was good to get it all done, including results, in one day.

Once again, all test results were very good. "CT results were perfect."   Praise God!  We don't have to do it again until July!  

We did spend some time talking about the "what ifs."  Dr. Tyson feels like the longer Randy goes without a reoccurrence the better his chances are of not having one - currently he guesses Randy has about a 25% chance of reoccurrence.  If it does reoccur, there isn't much to be done.  Nothing curable, a couple delaying tactics, but life expectancy is about 11 months at that point.  

So, we pray and go on living.  The odds are in our favor.

Our working plan is to go on an extended fifth wheel trip from late April through June and be home for tests in July.   That itinerary goes through New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky.  We also plan to go to Elkhart Indiana for a factory check on our fifth wheel and head into upper Michigan to see some friends who will be volunteering there.  The return will go through Kansas and Colorado.  At least those are the plans, God willing.

We thank you once again for your interest, prayers and love.
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