Welcome to the CaringBridge site for Dan McGeachy, which we're using to keep people updated in one place. Thank you for visiting and for your words of hope and encouragement. If you'd like to write Dan a note, his address is 716 Georgetown Dr, Nashville, TN 37205. He would love to hear from you.
Here is a note from Dan written 10/20/18:
Hey, everyone! I have some news that I need to pass on to all of you. I feel that it's important for me to share this; firstly because I know that many of you would want to know, and secondly because I don’t believe that keeping secrets is healthy. I want to start out by saying, I'm fine, I'm doing great, and feeling good.
Here’s what’s up:
Last month I went to the emergency room at St. Thomas, for what turned out to be very low blood pressure (likely due to dehydration). As I was also experiencing some abdominal discomfort, they did a CT Scan of my pelvis and abdomen. In so doing, they discovered a mass on my pancreas and some spots on my liver and advised a biopsy.
I've been seeing a liver specialist at Vanderbilt, so I requested that the CT Scans be transferred to my specialist so that I could have the biopsy and subsequent treatment done at Vanderbilt. The biopsy showed malignancy and I was referred to Dr. Kristen Ciombor with the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center.
My sister, Liz, went with me to the appointment, and Liz was such a blessing!! She and I both immediately fell in love with Dr. Ciombor and have a great sense of confidence in her ability and assessment. She was thorough and forthcoming; sympathetic and compassionate without being sentimental; hopeful but realistic.
The diagnosis is stage IV pancreatic cancer. The bad news is that it is inoperable and "incurable." The good news is that "incurable" simply means that although it is highly unlikely that the cancer will be fully eradicated, it is treatable. Although pancreatic cancer can be virulent and aggressive, Dr. Ciombor feels that l should be able to live many more years, with a good quality of life and little pain, as long as I continue to treat and monitor the disease.
So I have begun a regimen of chemotherapy. My first session was Thursday, October 18th, and I will continue to have infusions every other Thursday. According to Dr. Ciombor, I should have relatively minimal side effects -- I can drive myself there and back, and I’m unlikely to have the kind of nausea and debilitation frequently associated with chemotherapy. (As of today’s writing, it is the Saturday following my first Thursday infusion, and at worst I’m feeling a little tired.) Dr. Ciombor says I can keep working, there's no need to have a "keeper" (you all know I live alone and love it!), and I'll be able to care for myself and my beloved dogs (yay for the doggies!!!). Sigh ... would you believe this? The ONE side effect she says will definitely happen is that I will lose my hair!! BUMMER!! And my hair looks GREAT right now! I have commissioned the incomparable Rick Malkin to document my locks while I’ve got ‘em – photos soon!!
I assure you that I am doing very well and feeling very optimistic. I’ve sort of surprised myself at how much at peace I am about this So please don’t worry about me, but please keep me in your prayers!