Dad’s Brain Surgery Scheduled for Feb. 22

Dear Praying Friends,

Mom and Dad met with an oncologist (tumor specialist) and radiologist today at the Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee. (Special thanks to my sister, Andrea, for driving them there from her home in Madison.) The day was long but encouraging.

Doctors want to operate on Dad on Sunday, Feb. 22, and remove at least half if not all of his brain tumor. They feel confident that they can perform surgery without too much risk. Dad may suffer some minor side effects like numbness to his left side or some impairment to his vision. (They say that the tumor has already caused some damage to his vision.) While in surgery, the surgeon is hoping to insert some wafers of chemo or packets of radiation into what’s left of Dad’s tumor to zap what’s left. This technique has often been effective. The doctors said they operated on another man with the same cancer; that was three years ago, and he is doing well. Others they have operated on, however, have not responded as well. You just have to wait and see. The doctor looked my dad in the eye and said, “If you were my dad, I’d tell him to have this surgery.”

Dad will be in the hospital for four or five days for recovery. He will need to wait three weeks before beginning any other chemo or radiation, which Dad will begin in Iron Mountain. We are encouraged by this news, hope that the surgeon can remove all of Dad’s tumor, and pray that his body will respond positively to the treatment and fight whatever cancer might be left.

What happened to Cyberknife? Cyberknife is a precision treatment for smaller tumors than Dad’s. Also, insurance doesn’t typically cover this rather expensive treatment until other treatments have been tried first. If Dad has any recurrence of cancer down the road, he would probably qualify for the Cyberknife, so that’s still an option but not one for right now.

Yesterday, Mom and Dad agreed to rent a two-bedroom house in Quinnesec, Michigan, about five minutes from me and my family. (We are hoping to move them in sometime in March.) They also met with doctors at the Dickinson County Memorial Hospital in Iron Mountain and learned the technical name for Dad’s cancer: he has glioblastoma multiforme (stage 3 or 4), a very aggressive cancer that doesn’t usually respond well to treatment.

Please keep Mom and Dad in your prayers. We serve an awesome God. We cannot always understand His plan, but we can know it is always the right one.

Adam (on behalf of Larry and Rhoda and the rest of the Blumer family)

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2 thoughts on “Dad’s Brain Surgery Scheduled for Feb. 22

  1. Michelle Corteggiano

    I left you this same message on Twitter. My dad has the same cancer …stage 4. He was diagnosed in May of 07 and I can help you and your family know what to expect if you feel like talking. I KNOW how hard this is, believe me! I also have some very important advice for you that is only learned from experience. I wish I had been able to have me to talk to when we first found out. I live in Traverse City, Mi so I am in the same time zone as you…please do call 231-590-9600. Good luck and stay strong, this is a long raod you are headed down.

  2. Sharon Daniel

    Dear Adam,

    So sorry to hear of your dad’s recent diagnosis. My husband was diagnosed with the same type of brain tumor in March of 2007. He passed away on September 22, 2008. Our story can be found on our website. I want you to know that I will be praying for your family. The Lord used a huge network of Christian people all throughout our trial to pray for, strengthen and encourage us. My desire is to “comfort others with the comfort God is using to comfort me”. I would really desire to try to be an encouragement to your Mom. This is a long and difficult road but if you know the Lord, He gives amazing strength and grace. He never failed us one minute. He is not failing us now. He is such a wonderful Savior! Just know that I will be praying. If I can answer any questions or encourage you in any way please feel free to e-mail me. I learned so much about this type of tumor. I can also share some practical things about dealing with medicines, doctor visits, emergency rooms etc. that might greatly help your mom. Please contact me if you think I can help.

    In Christ,

    Sharon Daniel

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