This spring, The Outdoors Guy is avidly viewing the Decorah eagles (www.raptorresource.org/birdcams/decorah-eagles) and their young from the comfort of his “nest” in the study.
The spring began with the mates preparing their nest, mom eagle laying three eggs and then the pair co-parenting their three fledglings. Sadly, about three weeks ago, the male eagle left the nest one day and hasn’t returned. He was an older bird, with this being his second mate. We may never know his fate.
Bob marvels at the resilience and toughness mom eagle has displayed while continuing to raise their three eaglets on her own. She endured the hardship of this spring’s especially nasty weather conditions, while bearing full responsibility to hunt for food and feed it to her young. As she continues to do so, mom eagle also does her best to protect her young from the elements and predators.
Although Bob isn’t living in a tree (I’d lay odds he’d like to, though), and hasn’t had to withstand severe weather conditions like the eagles, he has been tough and resilient withstanding a different condition… pancreatic cancer.
Today, May 8, marks the three-year anniversary of his diagnosis. Three years of ups and downs, struggles and triumphs. And, three years of never giving up!!!
Early last week, he had his scheduled three-month CT scan, labs and visit with oncologist Dr. Paula Gill. Bob’s scan and labs were a near-mirror image of his results in January. His CT scan remains clean!! Not only that, his tumor marker dropped even lower, going from 9 to 7, well within the desired range of 35 or less for cancer patients.
Logic tells us it is a true miracle The Outdoors Guy is still with us when, at the time of his diagnosis, his survival changes were less than 20%, and his chances for reaching surgery were less than 50%.
Add to these odds came the disappointing news in January 2016 that the completion of planned surgery was not an option for Bob.
The turn of events occurred after an unanticipated discovery of a large amount of scar tissue in his abdominal cavity from a previous surgery. When Bob’s pancreatic surgeon specialist, Dr. Mark Truty of Mayo Clinic, Rochester, touched the scar tissue, he said it fell apart like wet tissue paper. As he labored to get through the scar tissue, it caused bleeding, which he and two other surgeons worked for hours to stop. As a result of the bleeding complication, Dr. Truty wasn’t able to complete his plan to remove the tumor.
Yet, Dr. Truty’s news was encouraging when he told our family he felt in all likelihood the tumor was dead or nearly dead. He said, “I could not feel the tumor, only the impression of where it had been.”
With all this jubilant news, it is with great joy we wish a HAPPY 3RD ANNIVERSARY-OF-LIFE TO OUR OUTDOORS GUY!!!! Not only has he survived, he has soared with the eagles!!!
“In a desert land He found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye. Like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them aloft.” Deuteronomy 32:10-11