Billy Spychala Billy Spychala

First post: May 5, 2018 Latest post: Oct 24, 2018
Welcome Family and Friends. Our sweet daughter in law has set up this CaringBridge page to keep everyone updated on Billy-Jo’s journey to battle cancer. People who know Billy-Jo, know that he is a caring person who for many years has lovingly taken care of family members and his patients without complaint. Now Billy-Jo needs our support and encouragement.

Last weekend Billy-Jo started feeling bad. We thought it was a stomach virus. However, by Monday (April 30th)he had become increasingly ill. We made a trip to the hospital where we received news that will forever change the way we look at how precious life is. Billy-Jo’s MRI showed a severe bowel obstruction and tumors on both Kidneys. The doctors said the treatment for this type of cancer is surgical. He will go to Abbott Northwestern Hospital for surgery. The tumor on his right kidney is in the center of the kidney so they will have to remove the entire right kidney and surrounding lymph nodes. The tumor on the left kidney is on top so they will take out about 1/3 of the kidney. We were initially concerned that he would need dialysis but the nephrologist said a person with at least a half of a kidney can live without dialysis as long as the remaining portion is healthy. If the remaining portion of the left kidney become unhealthy he will be put on the kidney transplant list. We are not focusing on what might be. We are keeping a positive attitude and taking it one day at a time.

In the meantime, Wednesday evening (May 2nd) he required surgery for the bowel obstruction. They found 2 areas of dilated bowel with a constricted area in between. They believe that constricted area was what was causing the bowel obstruction. Unfortunately, there was a tumor on the constricted area. The surgeon is concerned about the tumor since he has the cancer in the kidneys. They removed 5 inches of bowel and the surrounding lymph nodes and sent it for pathology. The results should be in by Saturday. We are keeping our fingers crossed for clear margins/lymph nodes. We will follow up with the specialist for the kidney in a week or so after he has had time to recover a bit from the bowel resection.

In retrospect we are looking at the bowel obstruction as a blessing in disguise. If it were not for that we would not know about the renal cancer. I guess it was our silver lining. Billy-Jo is more than my husband, he is my best friend and life partner. We are a great team. I have no doubt that we can crush this cancer. Your support and encouragement will be helpful during this time. We would like to thank everyone who has called, texted, and visited. It is greatly appreciated. The outpouring of love and empathy has been very uplifting to Billy-Jo. 

We will post updates as we get new news. Again, thank you all! We love you. to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.