Bill Sunderland | CaringBridge

Bill Sunderland Bill and Bonnie's Journey

First post: Nov 23, 2017 Latest post: May 11, 2018
Welcome to my site on Caring Bridge.  Through this method of communication, Bonnie and I will attempt to keep you abreast of the diagnosis I received on August 25th, 2017 of pancreatic cancer.  Following is the history of this event, if I can call it an event – more like a “shock” – and an update though the middle of November.  

In late July and early August, I began to feel some pain in my stomach and mid-back area.  It felt as though I had a football in my stomach.  I went to my doctor and she thought it might be gastritis so she gave me a prescription for that condition and said let’s check in two weeks.   When I returned in two weeks, I reported there was no change in my condition.  The next step was to do a CT scan.  It was late Friday afternoon but I was able to get into the lab area, drink the solution that helps them see what is going on, and complete the scan.  This took about 2 hours.  As I was walking from the lab to my car, my doctor called me with the results.  She opened the conversation with, “…well, the news is not good. It looks like you have pancreatic cancer.  I want you to get an appointment with an Oncologist right away.”

The thought of cancer had crossed my mind, but really, me?  I am in great shape, healthy, and was of the opinion that I would last well into my eighties.  So yes, it was a shock!

When I got home and shared it with Bonnie, we both were still thinking that the diagnosis needs to be confirmed and maybe……..     We both have a very strong faith, know that God is fully aware of what is going on, and that He has this under control no matter what the outcome may be. 

After the first consultation with the oncologist more tests were taken to confirm the diagnosis.  Yes the cancer originated in the pancreas and had spread to the liver with indications that it might be elsewhere.  He offered three chemo regimens and Bonnie and I selected the middle course which offered a lower incidence of side effects and 12-18 months longevity.  Of course although the disease in non-curable and the prognosis is not good, we both know that God can do a miracle.  

The Next Phase
As of Nov 16th, I have had 5 Chemo treatments with some side effects, but not really too bad.  Energy is low but other than that life does go on.  I am keeping active with the Real Estate business but of course am watching my energy level at all times.  I would say that my business activities are at a minimum with most of my time spent with Bonnie, family, and friends.  When there is enough energy, I continue to work out and if the weather cooperates, I'll even play golf although I have to take a cart now.  It is amazing to me to see how many friends I have who are not only concerned but have committed to praying for us regularly.  People will come up to me in the office or at church and tell me that they are praying.  

Frankly, if it comes to it, I am not looking forward to leaving Bonnie to spend the years she has left without me.  However, being with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit is quite appealing. We all live forever in eternity.  The transition will come where the gifts, talents, and abilities that God has given to me will be used in the Kingdom on the other side.  I do look forward to working, enjoying life, getting to know God better and better, all in an atmosphere where there is no sin. So you see it really is a win / win situation.  If God heals me, I get to be with the Bon, continue working and even play golf.  If not then I get to transition to getting to know Him better and fulfill His design for my eternal life. 

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