Welcome to the Byron Damcott CaringBridge website. While we are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place, it is also a place for me to share this chapter of my life. This is a hard story for me to write. Because I’m not one to read ahead, I never saw this chapter coming... But God did, He has always had my back. During the good, the bad, and the ugly, He was always there making a way where there seemed to be no way and providing everything I needed. Even for such a time as this! He has given me the “Best of the Best” family and friends. I am so blessed and He is so wonderful! While this has come as such a shock to us, it is NOT a surprise to my Father, The Great Physician.
At this time, I don't think any words are going to seem like the right ones, so I'm just going to say it.
Last year (2016) things began changing, subtly in the beginning and then snowballing. I lost energy and the drive to do things I once loved doing. Things that use to come easily became increasingly more difficult. Soon it was hard to swallow what I was so use to eating and by January my diet was pretty much soft mushy foods and liquids which were still hard to swallow and keep down. I lost a lot of weight and energy and after several doctors’ visits and tests… on January 20, 2017, doctors diagnosed me with Stage 4 Esophageal Cancer that had spread to my liver and possibly lungs.
The diagnosis was harder to swallow than food had become. Life quickly became so surreal. With our heads still spinning, I began palliative care chemotherapy in February; blood work and chemo treatment every other week for six sessions... In the meantime, I had already started using natural measures to combat this disease and to our surprise while at the first chemo treatment, I ate and kept down my first meal in a very long time!
The second chemo treatment was to take place the same weekend as the Daytona 500 but I had tickets to go to the Daytona 500 with Jamie (her Christmas gift to me). What to do? What to do? You Guessed it…Daytona took priority! Yes, Jamie and I went to Dayton and I checked “Dayton 500” off my bucket list. Woot – Woot!!! It was everything I had hoped for even with my limited physical abilities. Back home I began the chemo again and the 2nd round went off without a hitch but the following week, on Thursday March 9th, the day after I retired, I was rushed to the hospital. I had had an internal GI bleed and had lost a lot of blood – it was serious… Blood transfusion began in the emergency room and I had to have 5 units of blood plus mucho hydration. Don’t remember much of Thursday but my wife and daughter were there so they filled me in, especially on all the funny delirious stuff I said and did… I was in the hospital for six days; six very long, very boring days. On Tuesday, March 14, radiation treatments began and chemo was put on hold. So every day, I get to go to the hospital for radiation treatment; 25 minutes to get there, 10 minutes for treatment, and 25 minutes home. At this time, it is the zap method not a pill.
Oh did I mention, I so enjoy eating real food again. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.