Updates on Mike’s Cancer

No, this is not another blog where someone describes their journey though cancer and possible death, or at least it is not meant to be. Many people have written beautiful stories about their journey. No, this is simply an information page for friends and family who want to keep up to date with what’s going on without me loading up Facebook with some much stuff.


I have been feeling strangely ill for about 3-4 weeks. Those were mainly twitches and nausea. No signs of kidney problems.

Then, I became very sick on Friday (too complicated to explain here) and went into the ER. I was found to be in renal failure and near death (potassium of around 7). They had to work emergently to get the potassium under control in the ER and transferred to a bigger hospital with an nephrologist group (Peace Health, Bellingham, WA). I have been quite sick since then.

Efforts to reverse the renal failure were not what we had hoped as I’m still quite sick and fragile. Yesterday we did a renal biopsy to find the cause. We got the results back tonight and it was the worst possible cause for renal failure, Multiple Myeloma. I had a pre-Multiple Myeloma condition called MGUS (diagnosed in 1999) but it was rare for it to convert to full Multiple Myeloma, and if it did, it would normally started out as a bone fracture, then you would treat it. However, this is a light chain Multiple Myleoma, so the protein seeps out of the bone marrow and clogs up the kidneys. It can present as renal failure, and that’s what has happened.

Is there a cure? No, not at this point. But there are aggressive treatments that can control it for a while, with hopeful better treatments coming in the future.


The Immediate:

Of course we need your emotional support.. We have all been honest about the possibility that I may not walk out of the hospital alive.  I am still very sick and we are doing an emergent surgery in the morning to put a double lumen tube into my heart for dialysis. It will allow a dialysis machine tomorrow to suck out my blood, start cleaning so of the toxins out, and trying to saving my immediate life.

After a couple of hours or dialysis, I will go back to the OR to have a bone marrow test so that they can score the severity of the Multiple Myleoma. I will then be starting chemotherapy tomorrow, three harsh drugs.

  1. We need to pray that the dialysis (three days this week) will clean out my blood and help me feel better and get me out of immediate risk of death.
  2. We want prayer that if we can clean up the kidneys, the damage is not so severe that they would never recover. If it is, it will make treatment of Multiple Myleoma more difficult.
  3. Please pray that the Multiple Myleoma responds to treatment and can go in to submission, giving me months if not a few  more years to live.
  4. That the Multiple Myleoma will not cause a bad fracture (neck bone) that could cause me to become a paraplegic, and in this case, that would be the immediate end.

We, Denise, the kids and I, have talked about all possibilities and we do not hold out on false hopes. There is some hope, and on that we do not give up. Of course I, and my family, pray for a cure. There may be a cure coming (see Cart T Cell Therapy) but I have to survive through these first few stages first.

But we also know that these things just happen and there is no one to blame, certainly not God or doctors or lifestyle (I was very healthy). It is just the way life is in this fallen earth.

I will do updates here on the news part of what’s going on, but I will try to to write sob stories about what we are going through. Thanks for your interest and prayers.

I think if you check below that you want to follow this, then each time I up-date it, you get an e-mail.





Posted in:

19 responses to “Updates on Mike’s Cancer”

  1. Mike- I will certainly keep you and your family in my prayers. Sounds like you are getting great care under a competent medical team.


  2. Heartbreaking news. I’ve been praying daily for you all since I first saw your post. Appreciate you specific requests.


  3. Johnny – Last time I saw you we were lamenting the discomfort of a rain-soaked sleeping bag in the wilds of the Montanna wilderness. – I can’t imagine the blow this hard, hard news is to you and your family, but know I am lifting you up in prayer in NC, praying for God’s kindest mercy and healing in the face of such unsettling news. Praying for miracles in the face of great obstacles, for an outpouring of love on your every side, and for glimmers of hope this day. Much love to you and your family.


  4. Mike, thanks for sharing in detail. I hold I hold my kids,their spouses and families dear to my heart. I pray for a miracle,understanding and comfort at this time. I pray that you,Denise and kids enjoy many more time together. God bless


  5. Mike, can’t believe this is happening to you and the family. You have always strived to live a heathy life. My prayers will be with you and family through this trying time and that God grant you the strength and peace to accept what ever God has in store for you. I will be praying for a complete recovery


  6. Hey Mike, I am saddened to hear about this news. May Allah help give you a cure for this sickness, I will pray for you. I feel guilty because I haven’t reached out to you as much since we first started talking. I am still very interested in learning more about your thoughts and perception about what is going on in the world, especially in Palestine and the Middle East. I wish that I lived closer to you so I can greet you in person.


  7. Continuous thoughts and prayers Mike and asking for prayer everywhere!! Please people put him on your church prayer chains and rock the gates of Heaven!!! Mike and Denise need a miracle!!!


  8. Mike you and Denise will be in our prayers. Our Bite of Scripture group prayed for you this morning I know Session will be praying and ourMonday Night group that you were a part of will be praying. You are on the Cancer Companion list as well. May God give you strength during your journey. Draw near to God and he will draw ear to you.


  9. Mike, Denise, and family. Myself and lots of others are praying for you. I’m sooo sorry you all have to experience this. God is with you.
    “Never will I leave you: never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5


  10. I am so very sorry to hear this. You and my mother share the unfortunate rare situation of MGUS converting to multiple myeloma. I will pray for you, your doctors/team and your family for the best possible outcome, whatever that may be. Thank you for sharing with us.


  11. Mike and Denise, you’re in our thoughts and prayers here in MN! We love you both and wish we could be with you for more support during this time. Thanks for keeping us up-to-date on how things are going and know our prayers continue with love!


  12. I’m sad beyond words. I’m praying for your short term strength so you can pursue all options, and asking God for a miracle. I’m thankful for your faith.


  13. Wow. I was excited to see another post from you but so sad that it’s bad news.

    You’re writing has been important to me and I feel as though I know you, so it’s upsetting to hear that you’re going through this. will be thinking of and praying for you and your family.


  14. Hi Mike. So many prayers for you, Denise, and your beautiful family. I had a wonderful time with you and Denise this summer. I thought you would be “scary” cause of how smart you are….but you are just an all around great person with so much talent to share with the world. Just hugs to you and Denise. Love you guys.


  15. Mike, Chris called me tonight with the news as Sharon had called her. You, Denise and your entire family are in my prayers! Praying for healing, comfort and no suffering. Stay strong. Luann I


  16. Mike, Denise and all of the family—The shock of all of this is still so raw. We’ve been hesitant to write because what do you say? Initial words were expletives and probably not helpful. We will continue to pray for healing, good reports and a palpable awareness of God in the midst of it all. We appreciate the updates.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: