Journalist Christopher Ingraham has publicly chronicled much of his daily life in Minnesota since arriving here six years ago.
The Minnesota Reform Journalist (and former Washington Post reporter – maybe remember the time he called a Minnesota county ugly and then moved there?) is a prolific Twitter user, so when he had personal news on the health to share, that too was posted online.
Ingraham tweeted last week that he is fighting bile duct cancer.
“As far as cancers goes, it’s a bad one, right there with pancreatic cancer in terms of overall bleak prognosis,” he wrote.
After starting to experience some symptoms six weeks ago, doctors discovered a liver tumor. Ingraham is being treated at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. The tumor cannot be removed and he is trying to find out if he is a candidate for a liver transplant.
Ingraham wrote that he is currently feeling better after treatment. In an email to the Star Tribune, he explained:
“The only thing I would add is that it is still very early in this process and I don’t know yet if I will be a candidate for a transplant. There is still a small chance that the tumor is benign, but based on radiology the doctors at Mayo are very confident it is cancer and want to treat it accordingly I should know more next week when the transplant board has had a chance to assess things.
Bile duct cancer, or cholangiocarcinoma, affects the tubes that connect the liver, gallbladder and small intestine. About 10,000 Americans develop this rare cancer each year, according to the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation.
Living in Red Lake Falls, Minnesota, Ingraham travels more than 700 miles round trip to receive treatment at the Mayo Clinic. The drive is the least of his worries.
“For the level of care I get, the trip to Rochester is nothing – people come from all over the world, so it’s nice to have this kind of facility in the state here,” he said. he declares.
To refresh your memory: Ingraham was the Washington Post data reporter who wrote a column about a US Department of Agriculture ranking of US counties by natural beauty. In last place? Red Lake County, Minn.
The Minnesotans weren’t too happy with Ingraham’s report and invited him to see the area’s charms for himself. He did – and he loved the place so much that he moved his family from suburban Washington, DC to Red Lake Falls. He wrote all about the fuss around his column and his subsequent adaptation to small-town life in his 2019 book, “If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home Now: Why We Swapped Commuting Life For a little house on the prairie.”
And he will continue to chronicle his health on social media.
“Anyway just wanted to let everyone know because no matter what I will be posting,” he tweeted. “So if you see me making extremely dark jokes from a hospital room, you’ll know why – that’s how I get away with it.”