September 10th we left for a week at Hilton Head never suspecting there was anything to be concerned about. Two episodes while there found us in the ER. An EKG, chest xray and blood work were all normal.
Back home an upper and lower GI were also normal. Bill continued to feel abdominal pressure. A CT scan Octoberr19th showed an enlarged pancreas and what they thought was a blood clot. Bill was hospitalized and put on a blood thinner. On the 23rd the doctors gave us the devastating diagnosis of stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
We were home a few days then admitted to University Hospital main campus, Seidman Cancer Center on November 2nd. More tests and and attempt to insert a stent to drain fluid from his body only revealed that this viscious disease was way ahead of us. Bill was quick to share with the medical personnel who cared for him that he had peace with this diagnosis. He accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior in 1975 and knew without a doubt that to be absent from the body would mean he was home with the Lord.
The only chemo they could use was 30-year-old technology and had less than a 5% chance of shrinking any of the mass that must have been growing at an alarming rate. As a family, we decided against the chemo and to enjoy what time we had left.
We filled our time sharing memories, looking at slides from his tour in South Korea, from when we were just married and lived in CO, then when the boys were toddlers, camping and fishing trips. For the most part, Bill was alert and able to enjoy the fun. As his body weakened, he spent more time sleeping.
Thanksgiving was a nice day and we were all together. His family brought him so much love, pride, and joy. We shared with him why we loved him so much. Saturday the 26th was his 77th birthday and he was honored as a veteran in a pinning ceremony. He was alert enough to return salute. With the 'boys' and me at his side, he entered into the presence of our Lord at 2 Sunday morning.
It was our privilege to walk this road with him. He never once complained or asked 'why.'
His 'fight' is over. Ours is just beginning. How do you say 'good bye' to someone you love so very much? Our hearts and minds are numb with the speed and severity of this all-consuming disease. We will so miss his passion for God's Intelligent Design and his love for the Lord, his love of fishing and nature, his love and respect for this country and our Constitution, and especially his great love for us who were honored to be his family.