At Snow Pass, Washington, Mile 2302. Just 360 miles to go to Manning Park, Canada and the end of the PCT. With your support we can get him there!
Andy has been having some pretty significant pain in his left hip that shoots down his leg, sometimes so much that his leg gives out and he looses his balance and goes down. As you might imagine this doesn’t bode well for life on the trail, trying to cover 18 miles a day to get to the finish before the weather turns cold, snow comes and the trail becomes less distinguishable.
After some consultations by phone we decided it best for Andy come off the trail and have his hip/leg looked at. Is it muscular or structural? Of course, this means a trip to the emergency room. Naturally in the ER, there’s the intake and the full medical history. Andy’s medical history doesn’t come in the short form – I mean yeah, I guess you could summarize in a cliff notes slim volume, but it’s more like a three Encyclopedia set. As soon as the word Lymphoma is uttered, “a red-light — you need to pay attention now” goes off in any physicians mind.
Then it’s the orders of the battery of tests – Urinalysis, Saline lock, Hepatic Function Panel, CBC, I-Stat CX-8, CT Chest/Abdomen/Pelvix, Infectious Mono test, MRI Thoracic Spine, MRI Lumbar Spine, Ultra sound of the scrotum and genitals and more. Then the fear sets in. The memories of years gone by — in and out of hospitals, constant tests, procedures, Dr.’s visits and visits to other various health care professionals. And the barrage of information and advice of what one Doctor suggests do over what another health practitioner would do. Mind boggling and overwhelming.
Considering all this, I get on a late night plane to Seattle, rented a car and drove to the beautiful town of Yakima, Washington. I feel so familiar with this drill, because I’ve done this so many times, but it has been a long time since our last times in the hospital.
The test results are rolling in and unfortunately it’s not good news, Andy has a tumor pressing against his spinal column that’s causing the pain and numbness in his leg. As you’re reading this you’ve probably gone into shock. Fortunately, I’ve had a little time to digest the news and shed my tears and face my fears. Please don’t think I’m being cavalier, this is very serious. But Andy is in wonderful spirits. The Dr. has prescribed meds to alleviate his pain and working with him to figure out a plan to get him back on the trail. Yes, you read that right. Andy’s (Astro) is determined to get back on the trail and finish the PCT.
The staff here at Yakima Valley Memorial has been incredible (more trail angels). They have taken an interest in Andy’s journey, his health history and this new development and are determined to figure out a way to get him out of here!
There’s much, much more to the story – so you’ll have to stay posted or sign-up to follow.