Apr 11, 2020 Latest post:
Jun 16, 2020
November 2019 my dad received a clean detailed health report as a result of his annual physical. Around the holidays he wasn’t feeling great and couldn’t shake what he thought was the flu. By mid January he showed signs of jaundice and went to his doctor after much encouragement and persisting from all of us. A battery of tests and ultimately an abdominal ultrasound revealed a mass on his pancreas blocking the bile duct. At the time, this was good news as the experts advised this as treatable with removal and a temporary stent to open the bile duct. Unfortunately, the results of the biopsy confirmed the dreaded news and diagnosis of Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer.
Man, it’s no easier to type it than to hear it, say it or have to read it. This is why it’s taken us some time to share the news. First, my dad is a very private guy. I certainly get that and can relate. Second, as a close knit immediate family, we are virtually paralyzed and maybe even in a bit of denial. We are still trying to come to terms with it all so please understand why it’s taken us a minute to share this news publicly.
Back to Byron. He had one chemo treatment after recovering from the surgery and handled it so well that he felt strong enough to take a planned Spring Break golf trip to PalmDesert to visit my Auntie Dorene and Uncle Gary. While many of us back at home were concerned, it was quite clear that there was and has been no keeping Byron off the course. The golf was good and the company even better. In case you didn’t already know, my dad’s “happy place” is on the golf course. He absolutely loves the game. In fact, since retirement, he calls it “going to the office.”
Unfortunately, the timing of the golf trip coincided with the breaking news of COVID-19. With news of the virus rapidly spreading and for fear of canceled flights, they booked an early return to Kansas City much to my father’s dismay. “I should be golfing with Uncle Gary right now” was uttered all the way home and for the next several days.
Well shucks, who knew that due to the trip to California, a 14 day quarantine was mandated prior to any additional medical procedures including chemo? As time progressed, the jaundice returned and he was informed that a new larger stent was required. This wasn’t welcome news as we didn’t realize the first stent was temporary. He has successfully completed and has recovered from that surgery. We now await next steps for continuing chemotherapy treatments.
We are under strict stay at home orders to stop the spread of COVID-19. But that doesn’t stop us from short visits with lots of precautions in place. The Chiefs won the Super Bowl in the middle of all this which thus far has been the highlight of 2020! We all love the Chiefs as much as my dad loves golf.
As a family, we have collectively decided to use this Caring Bridge Forum to keep friends & family updated. It's just too painful to speak the words out loud and to talk about it constantly. So we apologize for this rather impersonal method of such personal news but it’s what we feel is best. Please do feel free to share this Caring Bridge site with anyone who knows my dad and should hear the news. Updates will be provided as we have them. Additionally, we will see your comments here. Texts and emails are also welcome. Phone calls and conversations not preferred as my dad has always disliked talking on the telephone. The best thing you can do right now is pray. We all believe in the power of prayer and can feel the presence of that support.