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8/31/2016 Latest post:
At the beginning of August, Bob and Carrie were at a parade when they ran into some old friends. Bob's buddy, in not so many words, told him he looked like hell and he should really get checked out by a Doctor. Bob had been losing weight, his eyes and skin had a yellowish look and had dark colored urine. Thank God Urgent care was not available to him, so he had to go to the ER. He was admitted with elevated liver enzymes and an ultrasound showing a blocked bile duct. Two days later he went for an ERCP, they put a tiny camera down his throat into his stomach and in through the small intestine. They were able to place a stent, allowing all of the backed up toxins to start flowing. The docs were also able to see that it was not a stone that was causing the blockage, but a mass in the head of his pancreas. The stent placement caused Bob to have pancreatitis, which is extremely painful and causes horrible nausea and vomiting. He remained in the hospital for another 3 days. Unfortunately, the GI doc who performs the biopsy of the GI tract was on vacation while Bob was in the hospital. He needed to come back the next week for his biopsies. The biopsies were taken on a Thursday, all went well. Bob was recovering and we went on our merry way out the door. Not 5 minutes into a car ride home, Bob started vomiting and complaining of severe pain! We rushed him back to the ER, he was found to have severe pancreatitis again! The pancreas does not like being messed with. He was admitted again for pain and nausea control. Pancreatitis, if left untreated, is deadly. Dad got the news that the biopsies came back as pancreatic cancer that Saturday. He was discharged from the hospital 8 days after his biopsy. He is happy to be home. Familiarity and family is the best medicine. Sitting in a hospital day in and day out, being reminded of your diagnosis constantly is enough to make a person go crazy. Bob is still having some pain and can't eat a rack of ribs like he used to, but he is home! And we just received news that he has been accepted to the Mayo for surgical treatment of his cancer! The only real cure for pancreatic cancer is surgery. Only a small group of people actually qualify for the Whipple Surgery, pancreatic cancer is typically discovered too late and there is nothing that can be done for the patient. The Whipple is a very complex surgery that removes parts of the GI tract, including that damn cancer! Our family is truly grateful that Bob gets this opportunity, not only to have the surgery, but also for it to be done at the Mayo. Special thank you to his awesome care team. Dr. Virtue and Dr. Currier, and Dr. Sebas, we are forever indebted for what you have done for Bob!