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

After all our traveling (Panama Canal, Tahiti and Boise) we have spent the last couple weeks settling into our new house and putting our trailer into covered storage.   It was bittersweet to store the trailer for the first time in five years but we have had lots of good stuff to focus on along the home front.

We are a quick half mile walk to a wonderful resort pool in our community and have been spending time there almost daily for the last week.  Randy has been able to swim laps at the pool and finally feels like he has found an exercise that his body will tolerate.  His stamina is improving and he is feeling encouraged.  Randy was also able to hit golf balls this week with no drama.  

He was excited yesterday to solve an engineering problem that had been plaguing him for a month.  Our new home has an older solar hot water system that wasn't working correctly.  A technician came out and serviced one aspect of the system but it still wasn't working correctly.  Randy called the system developer and eventually got enough information to work on it himself.  Yesterday he got it fully functional!  Whoo-hoo!  If it continues to work, the sun ought to heat enough water that we should rarely have to use the gas water heater.

We are in the process of getting bids to extend our patio and cover as the back of the house faces south and we get that western sun.   Extending the patio and cover may require us to be here throughout the summer.  If not, we hope to leave for a while in late July or August - hopefully in the trailer.

In the short-term, we've got those nasty medical scans to get through this month.  His scans are on the 20th and our meeting with the doctor will be on the 28th.  We covet your prayers!
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