In early June, Chris began having severe abdominal pain. After two trips to the VA ER (June 8th and June 11), talking to his VA PCP via telehealth (June 12) , Chris had a colonoscopy & endoscopy without any significant results on the morning of June 19th. By that evening he was having 10 out of 10 pain for hours, so we set off again to the ER, this time to Holston Valley Medical Center (as triage nurse suggested that the trip 30 minutes away might be too far). He was admitted in significant distress with a probable small bowel obstruction. By Sunday, June 19 (Father's Day), we were meeting with a surgeon who told us that Chris needed to be in surgery, preferably within a few hours, but he wasn't sure that Chris would survive the operation or recovery due to his liver disease. He had an exploratory laparotomy of his abdomen, to remove what we all thought was a small bowel obstruction. Unfortunately, the surgeon found thousands of nodules (tumors) in the mesentery of his abdomen. Our wonderful surgeon, Dr. Ogerro, hypothesized, that it was a lymphoma. This was confirmed several days later when pathology came back on Thursday 6/25 with his full diagnosis - Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). We met with our new oncologist, Dr. Jamal Maatouc, that day. She advised that this was an aggressive cancer and that we would need to get started with chemo quickly. Dr. Ogerro wanted Chris to have at least 2 weeks to recover from the surgery; Dr. Maatouc said we didn't have 2 weeks to wait. So we didn't wait. Chris went home from the hospital Friday the 26th. On Monday, the 29th he was back for bone marrow biopsy and port placement. First Chemo session was July 1st.
He did great with the first chemo; however, on day 7, he developed a fever and infection. We found ourselves back at Holston Valley on 7/8 where he was diagnosed with sepsis and admitted. Our story follows in the journal pages.
It's been a whirlwind thus far, but our widespread community has been so loving and supportive that we knew we needed to start a site to help communicate with everyone who is following and interested in his story. Please sign the guestbook when you can and let us know you stopped by. I will be reading these to Chris daily and we are both uplifted hearing from you all!
In the midst of all of the pain, the chaos, the fear, the unknowns... we both know that surrender and acceptance are the answer to our problems today. We may not know what the future holds. However, we know, without a doubt, the One who holds the Future! To God be the Glory!