May 5, 2021

Journal Entry by Kimm Viebrock — 47 minutes ago

April has been a rather long month of dips, curves, twists, and turns. We’re cautiously optimistic that sometime quite soon Clint will be truly ready to move from Aviva to the Denver condo. This is something we’ve all been looking forward to for more than four months since he first entered the hospital during the winter. 

In addition to her regular visits to Clint at the hospital and Aviva, Sus has been able to see some friends now and again recently - and Kjerstin and Greg arrived late last week with their new Forest River trailer (appropriately named “Gump”) after finally wrapping up their skiing/sales season. This arrival was timed to help Anna move out of her dorm in Boulder and has serendipitously also made it possible to assist Susan with some of the arrangements needed to get Clint home. 

Although Kjerstin had planned to travel farther west with Greg on his way to summer ski coaching on Mt. Hood, it now looks like she will stay in Denver/Boulder another few days instead with the hope that Clint’s transfer home to the condo can happen while she’s there. 

It’s now been one year since Clint’s major surgery by a specialist in non-resectable masses removing the tumor that otherwise could not have been taken out. Clint has been through a lot since then - C.diff infections, nutrition issues, and everything else that it takes to recover from major surgery, radiation and heavy-duty chemotherapy. Nothing has been a given during this time (when is it ever, though, really), so we’re especially grateful that even when it seemed like things were working against us, Clint still found both strength and courage to keep pushing - and taking a longer view of matters, it seems like it’s been working. 

In the midst of all the ups and downs, twists, and turns, it’s often been like riding a bike uphill, something Clint knows well, - where you only concentrate on the road immediately ahead, not the top. Most recently, this looked like quite a number of back and forth trips between Aviva and UC Health that may have worn a groove in the pavement. 

Given all the procedures and diagnostics and fixes and such lately, it’s been gratifying to see that Clint has continued to make progress even when things have gotten a bit more “interesting” at times (you don’t get raised by a Marine Corps fighter pilot without getting pretty good at the understated characterizations they’re known for). 

Sometimes you have to pay close attention - or just wait longer between observation points to see the progress - because sometimes it’s come in small increments and of course it hasn’t been linear. When you do pay attention, though, Clint has indeed made progress throughout. Most notably, nearly every time we talk now, Clint sounds more and more like himself. True, some days he still has to pace himself as this healing is hard work and sometimes he tires easily, but it’s nice to hear more of Clint’s humor and personality showing through during conversations and he clearly enjoys reconnecting with friends and family again. He’s back to telling bad dad jokes and being more interested in what’s going on outside of his immediate experience. 

The physical therapists keep expanding their goals for Clint because he keeps meeting and exceeding the milestones they set. It’s no real surprise to the rest of us that this is the guy they point to as an inspiration to others. Clint is walking short distances now with minimal assistance and his balance is good. He’s reading more again too and listening to music - more improvements from where he’d been at the beginning of the year - and he’s back to enjoying his (smooth) Adam’s Peanut Butter. 

This week, tests for C.diff came back clean, so that’s another important milestone. It turned out there was still some more work to be done on the new J-G tube, however, to get it back situated properly. After some more back and forth (decision-making this time, not traveling), it was determined they could get that work handled today (Wednesday) after all. With another day trip over to UC Health and back - a rather long day because, well... hospitals - that work is now done and Clint is resting up at Aviva and feeling pretty good.

Clint will stay at Aviva a bit longer for monitoring to ensure the feeding tube behaves itself this time. Then - fingers and toes crossed, Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, etc - we hope to get him back to the condo with Susan and Henry The Pup. 

This latest round of work has been a real emotional rollercoaster for everyone as functionally, Clint is more and more clearly ready to level up and be at home. It will still require a huge amount of work to keep up with the progress he’s been making, but it’s currently the goal everyone is working toward. 

We shall keep you posted on Clint’s whereabouts.