Thank you for coming to this space to offer your love and support to Dan, Roxanne, Conor, Cole, and the rest of their extended family. Over the last few months, we have appreciated everyone’s thoughts and prayers: a flow of positive energy, which Dan has said he can feel.
As you probably know, Dan was hospitalized in mid-November for acute anemia. It wasn’t until December 18 that we received the final diagnosis of intermediate stage liver cancer. Surgery was not an option, and there were few other treatment methods available. With Roxanne at his side, Dan began treatment at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in January, bravely enduring two rounds of radio embolization.
We were devastated to learn in April that the treatment had not been effective in slowing the disease. The doctors themselves were shocked at how hyper-aggressive the disease had become in just one month. Dan’s cancer had moved from his liver to his pelvic bone and spine. Because his liver function was so compromised at this point, new trial therapies would have been more damaging than helpful. It was time for palliative care.
Doctors urged Dan to move into hospice immediately because of the unpredictability of the cancer. Leaving home was very painful, but, as Dan said, the beauty of hospice is that Roxanne and the boys are able to spend nights there with him. The staff at the OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home has been very attentive, and his pain is being managed well.
As Dan wrote us last November while we were still waiting for a diagnosis, “All of our prayers will be answered in one way or another.” We can’t make sense of this terrible trial; we can only trust.