My journey with cancer started March 3, 2008. I went in for what was supposed to be a simple health care procedure and woke up in the recovery room being told that I had colorectal cancer. It's probably one of the scariest moments of my life. There was a period of disbelief, fear, and confusion. My son Lee, an oncology nurse, was very intrumental in helping me find an oncologist and a surgeon. My wife Barb, son Lars, and family provided lots of support.
The tests started with bloodwork, X-rays, CAT scans, PET scans, and 3 colonoscopies in 4 weeks. The oncologist recommended radiation and chemotherapy before surgery. I had 29 sessions of chemotherapy and radiation. I received treament right here in Mitchell at the Avera Queen of Peace Cancer Center. I can't say enough about the care and compassion I received from all the staff there. I had surgery June 26, 2008, 6 weeks after treatment. A secondary infection complicated matters and slowed recovery to 6 months.
The treatment and surgery were tough, but worth it. I am riding my motorcycle, hunting, fishing, and enjoying life with my grandkids. I am thankful for my family, my church family, so many special friends, and a great community for the great care, love, and support I received. I am humbled to be part of the Heart and Sole Cancer Walk.
For those of you who have not had a colonoscopy, please get it done. If you think a colonoscopy is scary, try colon cancer. You might not be looking forward to it, but early detection for colon cancer saves lives!
On August 5th, 2011, I found out that I had lymphnoma Cancer in my left and right groin. I was transferred to Avera McKennan on August 23rd. I was doing better and got to come back home on September 9th. I did my first chemo treatment on September 21st, and then the next day I coded here in the ER in Mitchell. I was airlifted to Avera McKennan. I received 2 chemos in Sioux Falls, and I never felt so good. I was discharged out of McKennan on October 18th and had to go to Good Samaritain Center. On November 9th, they did a PET Scan and nothing showed on the scan so I was able to come home. I did another chemo treatment on November 18th. Another scan was done February 22 and showed no cancer. On February 24th, I had to do an angiogram in the Heart Hospital in Sioux Falls. I found out that day that I had a pin size hole in one of my heart valves that had been caused by chemo. I had open heart surgery on March 8th and I now feel great. I have just one more chemo to go!