Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
On Sunday, November 26th Rebecca took Heath to the ER after a long battle with migraines that could no longer be controlled. Heath had a CT scan which showed a large mass in his brain. We were immediately admitted to the neurology unit, underwent an MRI, and were then sent to the neuro acute unit where we learned that Heath needed two days of steroids before they could biopsy to figure out what this mass is. Wednesday's surgery started early, was quick, had no complications, and they were able to get a good biopsy of both abnormal brain cells and fluid. The neurosurgeon reported back that the mass was sitting along many blood vessels and had a mixture of normal and abnormal cells, so they could not attempt to remove the mass. Heath went to ICU to recover from surgery while we waited for pathology results, and was responsive and doing remarkably well after undergoing such a major surgery.
Thursday came and our world turned upside down. The pathology results confirmed that yes, it is cancer, and it is the most aggressive type - glioblastoma. You don't need to Google it to know it's bad when the doctors are so solemn-faced and tearful. We spent the day in shock and disbelief at such an unlikely diagnosis, especially for such a young and healthy man. We had another MRI and the oncologist came in to discuss our plans. This is not a death sentence! We aren't doing the standard procedure of chemo/radiation/palliative care. This can cause more damage to healthy tissue than the cancer itself. Once the referral is finalized, we are heading to a treatment research center (Duke University) to partake in an exciting trial which has had successes in treating this type of tumor.
Of course, along with this horrific diagnosis, we are expecting our first baby - due December 30th. Due to complications of pregnancy, Rebecca was scheduled for an early induction this next week. However, checkups have been going great, and our OB/GYN in Sioux Falls is happy to let Rebecca's cousin in Raleigh take over her care. We feel so grateful for ALL of our family!
We are feeling stronger than ever in our faith, are confident in the power of prayer, love our family and friends, and are accepting of all of the amazing outpouring of support we have already felt. Please keep your good vibes, good karma, good thoughts, prayers and well-wishes coming! We have a long road ahead of us, but with the support of each other and our wonderful group of family of friends and the advances of medical science, we will confront this head-on and will not relent. For whatever reason, this task has been handed to us and we are resolved to meet this challenge.
Be kind, be good to each other, see the good when things don't look it, make the world a better place. We're all in this together.
Our love to everyone,
Heath and Rebecca