On September 11, 2018 I had my left hip replaced at Augusta Health in Fishersville, VA. I was discharged the next day. On Friday, September 14, my breathing was somewhat labored and I thought I might have a blood clot in my lungs. I was taken back to Augusta Health for a CT scan on my lungs. The test revealed that there was not a blood clot but I did have a touch of pneumonia and a couple of nodules on my right lung. I spent 3 days in the hospital and my pulmonologist told me he wanted to do another scan in 3 weeks. He was concerned about the nodules on my right lung. When he rescanned my lungs 3 weeks later he noticed a growth on my pan creas. I knew I was in trouble when he said, "I hate to give you this bad news."
On November 30, the nodules were biopsied. The doctor doing the biopsy got a better look at the pancreas and said there was a very high degree of likelihood that the tumor was malignant. The biopsy of the lung nodules came back positive for cancer.
On December 17, there was a biopsy on the pancreas tumor and it turned out positive for cancer. The tumor is nearly 2 inches long at the head of my pancreas. The next day I had an appointment with an oncologist. I asked him to but blunt with me as I like facts. He told me that even with treatment that I had 6-11 months to live. It was not a surprise.
Since Augusta Health is not equipped to deal with pancreatic cancer I have decided to seek evaluation and possible treatment at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD. They are among the top leaders in pancreatic cancer research and treatment. It is only a 3 hour drive for me. Hopefully, I will get better news there.
While this is a shock, I am a person of deep faith. Friends, family and my church, Olivet Presbyterian Church of Staunton, have circled the wagons with love and support. I could not ask for more. God did not give me this disease but he will use it in ways to bring glory to him. I'm well prepared for this journey no matter what.
I will be adding to my journal as circumstances present themselves.