I know I've missed someone on this email, so please don't take it personally if you're getting this forwarded from someone because I forgot someone. And feel free to pass it around to whomever you wish.
Last weekend (13th-15th) Kara, the boys, and I went camping with my parents (ages 61 & 59) in Southern Utah and had a great time. During the weekend my dad mentioned that he had gained 12 pounds over the past couple of weeks and being diabetic he was quite concerned about this (went from 170 lbs to 182 lbs). Also, my mom stepped in some broken glass in their motorhome after shattering a coffee pot. Due to having a piece of glass removed from her foot on Tuesday of this past week, I had to cut my workday very short on Wednesday to take care of our boys (my mom normally watches them on Wednesdays). Well my mom’s foot is now doing well and has turned out to be the least of our concerns.
Thursday my dad was diagnosed with pneumonia (turns out incorrectly). He continued to get more and more sick by Friday (pain, more bloating – gained 8 more pounds putting him at 190, a rash that developed across his belly, legs, and arms, and nausea). Friday night my mom took him to the ER at St. Mark’s Hospital in SLC. They ran a bunch of tests and released him during the night on Saturday AM without a diagnosis. He continued to worsen and by Saturday morning we finally talked about the similarities of his symptoms to that of his older brother of three years who died in 1993 17 days after being diagnosed with stomach cancer. (Both of my dad’s parents died of cancer and three of his six siblings died, had, or currently have cancer so there are familial concerns.) So it was back to the ER on Saturday noon. His abdomen was full of fluid and he was now weighing 198 lbs (28 lb. gain over three weeks). His lymph nodes were very enlarged. Concerns were now lymphoma (an often-aggressive cancer of the lymph nodes), various other types of cancer, kidney issues, or gall bladder. Ultra sounds showed the gall bladder was fine. He did feel some better after getting anti-nausea meds through an IV and morphine, but the ER at St. Marks released him on Saturday afternoon and said to follow up with his family practice doc on Monday upon the family practice doc’s return to town. (Had he been in town, I believe things may have gone differently, but everyone looking at him had no history.)
Frustrated and really concerned, Kara called a friend of ours who is a hospitalist doctor (internal medicine specialist) at the University Hospital in Salt Lake. Given the symptoms, some of the test results, and my dad’s history our friend was concerned that he was sent home. Our friend stuck his neck out and made arrangements for my dad to be directly admitted to the U. Hospital and by Saturday night he was in the hospital. Our friend’s feeling was that whatever is going on, it’s serious and moving quickly. He (and the rest of us too) didn’t want to lose one, let alone three or four days. He said, “We’re admitting you and you’re not going home until we find out decisively what’s going on. In the meantime we’re going to try to get you comfortable.” I guess there’s something to the “it’s all about who you know” saying.
By this afternoon (Sunday) they had found the right mix of morphine and anti-nausea meds to make my dad fairly comfortable, but still no diagnosis. There are signs that it might not be lymphoma (soft, moveable glands) which is a great relief, but there’s still a lot of unknown. Some kidney conditions are also of concern.
To top it all off, Kara, the boys, and I are supposed to be leaving for a family vacation in Florida to see her brother’s family on Wednesday. Needless to say, that’s up in the air.
So as you can imagined, we're pretty messed up right now. My dad was my best man in our wedding and we're incredibly close to him. So if any of you are the sort to pray, we could use as much of it as possible.
We know God can do amazing things so we're praying for either a treatable diagnosis or a miracle of healing. Also, he's going to be poked, probed, and messed with a lot over the next couple of days so we need to pray that he'll hang in there and be a patient patient.
Thanks for all of your support,
Mitch (and Kara, Isaiah, Joey, and our baby girl due in January)
Monday, October 23, 2006
i haven't heard from my friend mitch since our camping trip....this was in my email this morning...please pray