Carry On

I've been sitting on the latest update for about 13 days... not for any reason other than finding the 20 minutes to write this post. Back on September 28th, dad got an update from the oncologist. The latest MRI (taken at the end of September) didn't have…

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Period of the Unknown

I apologize for the lack of updates, I realize with this post it has been 2 months. Life got busy. Either way, here's the latest on dad. Dad started his first dose of chemo on Monday, August 20. He was put on the same drug (Temodar) but at a higher…

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To Chemo or Not to Chemo

A couple weeks back, on July 11, dad had a single round of targeted radiation, going after the two globs of cancer that have been growing back. To the best of our knowledge, this session went according to plan, and for the time being he will not have any more radiation…

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Bring On the Radiation

Today marked the first step down the latest road in dad's life. We met with his radiologist, Dr. Haley, who definitely could be Neil Patrick Harris' doppelganger from the Doogie Howser days. Before we begin, I wanted to share the following 3 images I received after my last blog…

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Back With a Vengeance

Sometimes in life, we take things for granted. Today, that became quite present. We found out from dad's latest MRI results that his tumor has come back. A couple months ago we were notified that dad's doctor had left Methodist, and that he was being switched to a different doctor…

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Nothing New Here

This post is a couple of weeks late as I have been pretty busy getting settled into our new house (that’s right, my wife and I moved recently). Nothing but good news to report. Dad had his MRI back in mid-March and nothing has changed with the scan. Let me remind you that last time…

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Unofficially Cancer Free

Dad went in this past week for his quarterly MRI. He got the call from the doc the next day. The tumor is stable. Yes, that’s right, the tumor has now been stable for more than 2 years. Although the doctor has not said it yet, we have decided, it is time to call spade…

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He’s not Living… He’s Thriving…

Undefeatable. If I had a word to describe my dad, it would be just that. If you met him on the street, you would think he is a normal guy in his late 50’s. You would not have a clue that he has been dealing with a Glioblastoma Multiforme Stage 4 brain tumor. That’s right……

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In Remission… Unofficially

The doc has not declared it yet….I’m not sure if he ever will as it is unheard of with my dad’s form of cancer. To hell with it, I’m making the call… dad is in remission! Dad had his latest MRI on Monday, with the results coming this past Tuesday. The tumor has remained stable.…

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Rock Star

That’s all that can be said this go around, dad is a Rock Star. He’s been off of chemo for 6 months (still doing the Protocel every day) and his tumor showed complete stability. Absolutely no growth in the last 3 months (ultimately the tumor has done nothing but be stable or shrink for the…

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Remembering Flip

I don’t mean to confuse anyone, my dad is doing great, in fact he is as good as ever. His next MRI is slated for the second week in November, where I will have more info on him. Being that my dad’s blog is about cancer, I felt this was as good a place to take a…

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The Outlier

Dad continues to be an outlier, that one dot on the chart that doesn’t fit with the rest of them. Last week, he had his first MRI in 3 months, and followed up with both the neurologist and oncologist. Great news, the tumor is at a minimum stable, and it appears to have shrunk again since…

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Defying All Odds

Dad went in to visit with the oncologist on Monday. The meeting went quite well! One of his numbers for his blood labs was on the low end, but other than that there was nothing to complain about. He made sure to specifically ask the doc what her opinion is on his prospective chances. She…

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Shrinkage Can Be Good

Yep I said it… shrinkage can be a good thing. Typically men do not like to talk about shrinkage, but this week, the doc pointed out that my dad’s shrinkage is something to be proud of! MRI Update Dad went in on Monday for his first MRI in 3 months. If you recall from my…

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365 Days in a Year

It has been one year from the day dad fell at home and was whisked away to the hospital… One year from the day I received that dreaded call… One year from the day I thought I was going to lose my dad… All I can say is BooYAH! He’s alive and kickin’, with plenty…

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He Continues to Go Strong

It’s been one of the longest stretches without an update. Good news, dad is still going strong! Where things are at He has not been on chemo for a little over 1 month. His blood labs keep showing his white blood cell count slightly on the low side. He will continue to go weekly for…

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Magical

That’s what the doc said when delivering the latest MRI results, “It’s magical.” The doc, who had just come back from a Disney cruise, was referring to dad’s tumor shrinking slightly from the last set of results 6 weeks ago. That marks 6 months of stability and the past 2 MRIs showing the tumor shrinking.…

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No News is Good News

It has been about 1 month since my last post….the longest stretch between posts, and I have nothing but good news to report. Dad is doing awesome, he’s been back working at his bookkeeping business, even while going through chemo (yes he’s feeling that good). You would think we need to tell him to rest…

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Happy New Year

Although dad still has shingles, he has not been grimacing near as much as he was in the first week, which is welcome news. During this time they have stopped chemo until his body recovers enough from shingles. This means for the second round of the high dose chemo, he has completed 2 sessions. Scan Update…

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Shingles

That one word says it all….on Monday, December 1st, dad contracted shingles. This was while he was taking his 2nd round of chemo. It went unnoticed until Friday (5th) when mom asked to see his rash, she about died when she lifted up his shirt (pain doesn’t bother dad like it would most). They took…

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Better then Ever

Dad is doing better than ever. He had a check-up this past week (MRI + Review) and the tumor is still running stable. The doc was very excited and thought there was potential that the tumor might have shrunk a little (he could not say for sure). Either way it is great news. Even better…

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Dad is Doing GREAT

Sorry it is been so long since my last update. Time seems to have gotten away from me. And so it begins… On November 2nd, dad began taking high doses of Chemo. For a total of 5 days in-a-row, he continued taking it. During this time he noticed a minimal increase in fatigue, which goes…

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Decision Made

Dad has come to a conclusion as to what path forward he wishes to take. He has decided to start back up on chemo (this time the high-dose variety). The plan is for him to begin taking chemo on November 1st. It will be 5 days on, then off for the remainder of the month,…

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The Big Decision

Dad went in for his latest MRI scan this past Wednesday. The family all gathered on Thursday to meet with Dr. Baimeedi to go over the results. The Results Great news, everything is stable, there is no tumor growth. There has not been any tumor growth since going off chemo + radiation. This could not be…

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Enjoy the Moment

It’s been a couple weeks so I thought I’d give everyone an update. There is nothing new to report. Dad is doing great, feeling great, looking great. If there is a tumor growing inside of him, you would never know it (we believe the Protocel is preventing it from growing but it’s too soon to…

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Summer Fun! Live, Love, Laugh and Be Happy!

As we were told by the doctor, we have been making sure to go out and enjoy life. Mom and dad especially have been doing this with various friends. Mother asked that I share a little something in regards to what has been going on: Ever since Day 1 of Jay’s diagnosis, our family has…

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Go Out and Enjoy Life

Dad was supposed to get his next MRI early next week. Things didn’t go as planned. This past weekend I noticed a slight change in him; mom noticing something else reminiscent of the time before we knew of the tumor. Because of this, my wife and I urged my mom to call it in as…

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Still Going Strong

Sorry for the lack of an update over the past couple weeks. Let’s get to it. Dad is doing great, looking great, feeling better every day, apart from his hair you can barely tell anything is wrong. Hopefully this goes along with the findings that the tumor has stabilized (or possibly, that it is shrinking).…

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2nd Round of MRI Results Post Chemo

It has been a busy two weeks, but we finally caught a break! Dad went in for an MRI on Monday, we received the results today. The tumor has remained stable. Going into the MRI we were all expecting (including the doctor) to see the tumor growing. Dad even thought it looked like it had…

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MRI Results

There is a lot going on in this update, and I know many are wanting to know results of the latest test….here goes nothing… Cabin Weekend Big thanks to Pat for having the entire family up this past weekend to his place on Pokegama Lake in Pine City. He has a beautiful place with plenty…

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Platelet Levels

So it’s been a little over a week since my last update and I thought it would be good to update you. A few days after my last post he went in for another blood checkup and his platelet levels jumped up to 92 from 57! This was great news. His next lab is not…

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Feeling Better Every Day

Day by day, dad is feeling better. As he puts it, just a little bit better each day. He has more energy and overall feels pretty good given the situation. Let’s hope this continues! Platelet Levels On the last report, dad’s platelet levels were not looking so good. The positive news is that a few days after…

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Round One Done

The first round of treatment is kaput. We couldn’t be more thrilled! Radiation and Chemo is not fun stuff by any means, so we are glad that dad is now off that stuff! Blood Levels Dad’s blood labs over the past couple weeks have been iffy. His liver levels were high, more importantly his platelet…

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Rounding the Corner

Father’s Day Becca and I hosted both of our families for a Father’s Day brunch. It was a good day and we had a great time. Dad was looking/feeling good and it was great to get him in front of other people. Treatment He only has a few days left of treatment and then he…

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4 Weeks Down, 2 to Go

Dad is just about to enter his 5th week of the first round of treatment, so far still going strong. The fatigue has definitely hit him pretty hard, I could see it in his face a few days ago while visiting. The doctors were confused by the rash that dad has developed on his arms,…

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3 Weeks Down – Halfway There

Dad is now halfway done with his first round of treatment (radiation + chemo). He is still going strong and doing well, but the side effects are definitely hitting him. He feels fatigued more often than normal, but it isn’t necessarily just the feeling of fatigue, it’s also feeling somewhat lethargic. This is a common…

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2 Weeks Down

It has now been 2 weeks of both radiation + chemotherapy and overall dad is doing pretty well. The past couple days he’s started to feel the fatiguing effects of the treatment, other than that he is doing well. On top of that his scar has pretty much healed up from the surgery. It is…

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1 Week Down

Yesterday we celebrated my 27th birthday with a nice family meal at home. More importantly, dad has been on radiation and chemo for almost 1 full week now. He is doing great considering what he is doing. He has noted that in the later part of the evening he does get more tired than normal,…

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It Begins

On Mother’s Day we celebrated a month of birthdays for 3 generations (myself, dad, and grandpa). We got most of the Hatlestad side together and enjoyed the afternoon/evening. Attached are pictures from this event (no my dad is not drinking beer, and yes that is the manliest cake that the bakery could come up with).…

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Staples Out, Happy Birthday

On Tuesday the staples came out. Woohoo! He’s still feeling great and looking good. Once his hair grows back you’ll hardly be able to tell he had surgery. Happy 57th Birthday On Wednesday evening, the family celebrated Jay’s 57th birthday on 5-7. Did I mention he was born in 1957? That made this birthday a special…

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Hope

We would like to thank everyone for all of the love and support during these trying times. I thought it was time to update everyone on Jay’s condition as well as his plans moving forward. His Condition Currently doing great! No pain, looking normal, functioning normal, couldn’t be doing better! The Plan From talking to…

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The Prognosis

Today we met with the Oncologist which confirmed our suspicions that we had already learned last Monday in the ER. Dad has been diagnosed with a Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) Stage 4, which is the most aggressive type of brain tumor. While we were hoping this wouldn’t be the case and we had been preparing for this exact…

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Sunday Night Meal

Id like to give a shout out to the families who prepared meals this past week (Novotny, Carroll, Allen, Horton). Not to mention the cards, gifts, well wishes, guestbook posts, phone calls, emails, text messages, etc. All of this was much appreciated. We had a lovely Sunday night meal as a family thanks to one…

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Oncology Appointment Monday

The hospital called to schedule an oncology appointment for Monday. This alone confirms the tumor is cancerous. Either way let’s hope for a lower stage of cancer. Otherwise Jay is doing well.

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Doing Absolutely Amazing

Last night my wife and I stopped by the house to enjoy a birthday dinner for my mom prepared by Marti Carroll (awesome lasagna btw). We quick headed downstairs to dad’s office and couldn’t believe our eyes. The color in his face has completely returned, swelling is looking much better, he even had gotten his…

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Still Waiting

Still have not heard back just yet. At work today I drew a visual of the approximate size of the tumor and location. I like to compare it to a kiwi. Please enjoy my lovely white board rendering. The tumor was primarily in the right portion of the brain, pushing the right portion over and…

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Frankenjay Home at Last

Dad aka Frankenjay is at home and feeling well. Yes that is right, at home less than 24 hours after surgery! Still waiting on pathology which will be coming in the next 24 to 48 hours. As he likes to say, you should see the other guy… He’s still in the hospital (in reference to…

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Out of Surgery

Dr. Baimeedi did a wonderful job. The surgery was successful; tumor removed, now it goes on to pathology. Initial indication is showing the tumor is malignant, which the doc made sure we understood this is not great news, but at least for now he lives to see another day. Doc says he will probably be…

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Into Surgery We Go

At 3:00 PM today, dad was taken into surgery prep. His surgery will begin shortly. He has a wonderful doctor with plenty of experience along with his team that he has worked side-by-side for 5 years. He is in good hands. The surgery will last anywhere from 2 to 4 hours. For those who like…

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Jay’s Story

On April 21st, 2014 Jay was rushed via ambulance to Methodist hospital. He crashed at home in front of Cindy (wife) and Julie (daughter). Due to his past history of having a benign tumor on his brain stem back in 1990, they immediately sent him in for an MRI. The initial results were alarming. Immediate…

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