August 13, 2017

Facing Our Fears - Luke's Upcoming Liver Biopsy


Facing Our Fears - Luke's Upcoming Liver Biopsy
Todd Swank's Diary Update for August 13, 2017


We spent all day Monday & Wednesday at Mayo Clinic.  After our visits and a conference of liver doctors, they have decided to do a biopsy of the nodules in Luke's liver.  So we have a glimmer of hope! Apparently Luke's heart condition can cause nodules like this to appear that "mimic cancer" and they've been "fooled before". Biopsy is tomorrow and everything hinges on that. Good results and he goes to college on Thursday and has to do quarterly scans of his liver. Not good results and then a whole new series of events will need to take place. So please pray for good results!! Thanks so much for everyone's support! It is so helpful to know so many of you are saying prayers and sending positive thoughts for him.


Luke also had to do a stress test to see how his heart is doing.  We were pleased that his results were about the same that they were last year.  I'm thinking about getting him a mask like this to wear more often because it makes him look like a stud!


The Mayo Clinic is an incredible facility and we are quite blessed to live so close to it.  US News & World Report just ranked them the #1 hospital in the country and we are hoping to help add on to those positive statistics.


Our friend, Nathan Wangness, and his mom were also there to visit his heart doctor so it was nice for us to have a chance to connect with them in Rochester.  Nathan is also dealing with some new challenges in his life so we will be praying for him also.


On Thursday night, I had the chance to take a tour of Target Center in downtown Minneapolis.  The home of the Minnesota Timberwolves is undergoing a $130 million remodeling job.


They're making a  lot of changes to the arena itself, but nothing that really stood out to me that will make the experience fundamentally different.I guess we'll have to see what it looks like when it's finished.


The main changes are notable outside the arena where they've opened up several walls and added windows including this 5 story atrium that will look directly downtown.  It sure brightens up the place when compared to how it used to look.


I went on the tour with one of my Oracle co-workers, Ryan Pearson.  He's a big hoops fan and we spend a lot of time talking basketball so I thought he would be a great candidate to join me.  We had fun.


In just a few more months, this new locker-room will be occupied by Jimmy Butler, Karl Anthony Towns, and Andrew Wiggins.  I kind of wanted to find a place to hide out and stick around until the season started, but thought better of it as I'd probably get pretty hungry waiting.


On Saturday morning, I went to a Fantasy Football convention and saw Mike Golic and Mike Golic Jr from ESPN along with a bunch of other local sportswriters & personalities.  They spoke a lot about Fantasy Football and the upcoming season.


Mike Golic talked openly on a lot of things including the time his son was arrested for underage drinking while he attended Notre Dame.  It was a pretty interesting experience watching the two of them being interviewed.


On Saturday afternoon, we went to Sand Creek Adventures in Jordan, Minnesota to go zip-lining.


Here's some videos of our adventures.


It's Miss Sheri's 50th birthday this coming Saturday and she's always wanted to go zip-lining.  So we found this place close by and bought tickets.  We had to go this weekend as Luke is scheduled to go to college on Thursday and she wanted us all to be able to go together.


A couple of hours before we went, we started getting nervous about actually doing this activity.  Luke is not supposed to go on roller coasters and we started questioning if this would be too much for him.  We discussed it with the staff first and she re-assured us that everything would be just fine.  And it was. 


Luke had no personal fear in jumping.  He just had to overcome his parents fears before we let him make the leap.  He loved screaming in fear as he flew through the air, but I think that's just because he likes to yell.


I also had to face my own personal fears.  I know it may be shocking to hear, but I don't always have a lot of confidence in my upper body strength.  Especially when it comes to gripping something that will prevent me from plummeting to the earth.  Again, I didn't need to worry.  The harness held me very well and I mainly had to brace myself on the rope and not actually carry my weight.


Avery thought we were all crazy and making way too big of a deal about being scared to do it.  He was a natural and leaped off each ledge without any fear whatsoever.


Miss Sheri is also way up there on the bravery scale, although she's not a strong swimmer so going up high over the creek was a little stressful for her.


The location was beautiful and we went back and forth over a small river and a whole bunch of trees.  There might of been some animals down there also, but I couldn't see any.


Gravity is a wonderful thing.


The staff at Sand Creek Adventures was very friendly, helpful, and re-assuring that we were going to have a blast.  I'm so glad we listed to them because we certainly did.