Hello again to my Friends, Family & Loved Ones. Thank you very much for taking the time to become informed through this web site. As you might imagine, I would love to personally talk to each and every one of you and let you know what is going on, but for now, this is the best way for me to bring everyone up to speed on my current condition.
I would like to first start by saying that this is a very, very difficult email for me to write. Not only because I am such a private person, but because this is now making me accept the reality of what is ahead of me, and the truth of my changing health. Every day now, it feels inconceivable, unreal or maybe still like it was a bad dream?
This past January I returned from our annual vacation to Sayulita, Mexico with a group of best friends. For the next couple of weeks, I just didn’t feel up to "par". At first, I thought I had caught a “Mexican Bug” or something. I went to get checked out and everything the doctors looked at was fine. However, after 2 more weeks past by, I still just wasn’t feeling like myself. At the end of February I woke up one morning to find myself very jaundiced (a word that I had never heard of) with a yellowing skin tone covering my entire body. We immediately went to the Emergency Room. Since that visit, that awful day at the U of M, my life has drastically changed forever. That gray, cloudy day I was diagnosed with Bile Duct Cancer (Cholangiocarcinoma) – which is a very rare & tricky Cancer to treat and beat.
Almost immediately, the University of Minnesota referred me for extensive and very intense chemotherapy & radiation at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. I was getting some excellent results with my treatments, and the only next step was to get a Liver transplant (a Liver transplant was my only option to receive new Bile Ducts). Time was of the essence and the doctors made it clear I needed to find a Living Donor match soon. I was incredibly blessed (5 times over) with finding a living liver donor that matched my body. Unfortunately, as quickly as we found my loving Donor, we were told that my Cancer had spread and that I was no longer a viable candidate to receive a Liver Transplant. This was devastating news after having had such high hopes and good news all along the way.
I am now facing the diagnosis of stage 4, inoperable/untreatable Bile-Duct Cancer, which means it has spread beyond any further treatment options. I can barely believe this is true! My life has been, (up to this point), in such a wonderful place: an adoring group of friends, loving Partner, the best career ever and all the people that make up my world. This news has been incredibly daunting and very hard for me to find the right way to share. Thank you for being patient, thank you for waiting and for reading this far. For now, I’m having some good days and many other days that I wish I could trade in for a much better day. But, I am most thankful for all the love that I have in my life, all I have done to live my life to the fullest and the treasure-trove of memories that I have with cherished family & friends.
I will be using this site to post updates and receive communications from people. So, please contact me through this CaringBridge site. It helps me keep everything centralized in one place. I appreciate all of your support, prayers and love – it means so much to get messages from you through this site.