Blackfoot Valley Dispatch - The Blackfoot Valley's News Source Since 1980

Open Letter: Could use some prayers


October 9, 2019

Hello Lincoln,

About four months ago, the first PET Scan showed I had cancer in my left lung. I wouldn’t believe it until Autumn Howell, my pulmonary lady at Community in Missoula showed me a picture of it. She explained this upcoming operation to me way back then. Took the time to explain the details of the operation in terms I could understand. It’s called rib refraction. I really fell in love with her. As we were leaving, I told her congratulations. She said on what. I thought she was pregnant. She was just a little bit overweight. Nobody heard us, I told her it would be our little secret! We both blushed.

On another visit there, July 25, a tough guy, the technician, had some kind of disease that rendered him almost crippled. More inspiration. He did a long intensive test on my lungs: the spirometry date the DLCO and lung volume were all acceptable and reproducible. Amazing after 45 years of smoking. If you smoke, stay active. Autumn also wrote Good Patient Effort. I quit 45 days prior to this. I knew something was wrong.

The adventure doesn’t end there. Dr. Gutter, my lung doctor ordered a lung biopsy. They stuck a long needle in between my rib into the lung five times and grabbed samples. Poor old Bill Quay had to wait around all day, as I got the two doctors together for a pow-wow that afternoon. Dr. Gutter said he needed to know what kind, in order to treat it.

My screw up, spent the night in the hospital for peace of mind! Bill picked me up the next day.

Adenocarcinoma, 1.3cm in size, called Stage 3 because of its size I guess: The PET Scan showed hot spots on the lymph nodes just under my Adam’s apple. Did a Mediastinoscopy at St. Pats in Missoula, they were benign! Three nights at the St. Patrick’s House, met all kinds of inspiring cancer patients there. It was good therapy.

Had a tooth pulled, my last big molar, the week before. Just last Thursday, did a stress echo test at St. Pats – two-and-a-half hours to see if my heart is strong enough for the operation. A 77-year old lady was the first to try this procedure ten years ago. Says she loves her job and helping people. More inspiration!

Three weeks ago, I felt like I was losing my voice. I did the last three procedures I told you about while fighting a cold. Jeanette Hoffman Gave me some antibiotics six days ago and some magic mouthwash. One day at a time

Three and a half weeks until the operation. Need some more prayers and good wishes, so I thought I’d get the whole town on board.

One more foot in my mouth story. I had my consult at the International Heart Institute in Missoula with my physician Dr. Stuart M. Long II. As we were going to the check out desk, I said is it alright if I just call you Stuart? He said, no you’d better call me Big Daddy. I liked him already, even more after that! Said he’ll be gone and turned me over to Dr. David J. Carter, I liked him too. This was good therapy too.

Thanks Lincoln,

Bob LeDeau

PS Just checked my messages, passed the Stress Echo Test. .– OK to proceed with the surgery. The heart is good and that’s more good news. It’s the wondering and worrying that takes its toll. Everybody take good care! I’ve got plenty of help in our immediate support group, just need your prayers!


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