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On Monday, August 7, Boyd was admitted to the hospital for acute pancreatitis. He was released five days later...no longer in pain but weak and without much of an appetite. On 8/29/17 he developed a fever and called his doctor, who was concerned he was not getting his strength back after his hospital stay. She ordered new imaging studies and he had an MRI on 8/30/17. The MRI left the doctor with questions, so she ordered a CT scan with contrast to further evaluate his pancreas. By the end of the day, his doctor called to report the CT scan showed a solid mass on the head of his pancreas. The doctor made a referral for an endoscopy with biopsy for the following Friday, 9/8/17. On 9/8/17, Boyd checked in to the short stay unit at Good Samaritan Hospital in Corvallis. He was put under anesthesia so that a specialist could look at his pancreas and take a biopsy of the mass. The surgery lasted about 2 hours and the specialist came to talk to him after he awoke. The specialist strongly suspected the mass was malignant, but advised that pathology results would not be available until the following Tuesday. Wondering and waiting for results over the weekend was excruciating for everyone. Boyd's PCP called on Tuesday, September 12 to report that the biopsy showed the mass on the pancreas was Adenocarcinoma, a type of pancreatic cancer. Because of the location and position of the tumor, there were questions about whether it could be successfully removed with surgery. Boyd's doctor referred him to a local Oncologist, Dr. Abar to develop a treatment plan. Dr. Abar sent all of Boyd's images and test results to Dr. Shepard, a cancer surgeon at OHSU. Dr. Shepard determined the tumor to be "borderline resectable," meaning it's location near vital blood vessels makes it unremovable currently, but that if treatments could shrink the tumor, removal might be possible. Removal of a pancreatic tumor offers the patient the best chance of survival.
Boyd met with his Oncologist, Dr. Abar, in Corvallis on 9/18/17. Dr. Abar presented a plan to start him on course of chemotherapy beginning 9/26/17, and every two weeks thereafter for 6 cycles. He will be receiving a combination treatment called Folrfirinox, which is very potent, but has a track record of being the most effective course of treatment for Adenocarcinoma. The goal for chemotherapy is for it to shrink the tumor enough for it to be removable. Imaging tests will determine if the treatment has been successful, and if so, Boyd will have surgery to remove it in early 2018.
Boyd will be taking a leave of absence from his work during this time. He will be focused on resting his body, eating lots of healthy food, and because his immune system will be weakened, staying away from crowds or sick people. He will also be working on his golf game on the new Xbox. :)
His first chemo treatment is this Wednesday, 9/26. We'll keep you updated with new info as we can!