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Gary Young Hood River
Feb 20, 2017 Latest post:
Mar 26, 2017
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement.
Barb and I return from the the "Big Island," Hilo and Kona, where our spirits were rested and refreshed, on the 15th.
My upcoming surgery for neuroendocrine carcinoma, at OHSU, is scheduled for March 10th.
Neuroendocrine cells are natural parts of our nervous and endocrine systems. They are slow growing, live on the outside of our organs and aid us in various natural ways. Cancer, however, is not one of them.
I am under the care of Dr. Rodney Pommier, a surgical oncologist who specializes in this rare disease, at OHSU (Oregon Health & Science University) and the Phil Knight Cancer Center.
Surgery is necessary because neuroendocrine carcinoids do not respond to chemo or radiation therapy; they tend to penetrate organs and cluster in colonies to form tumors. The only way to rid the body of the problematic neuroendocrines is to harvest them. I find this akin to the to picking huckleberries - they're small, hard to find, and time consuming to pick.
The surgery at OHSU will be long (5-8 hours) as Dr. Pommier and his team seek to harvest 70% of the problematic little (huckleberry) buggers. My hospital stay will be one to two weeks and possibly, before returning home, a stay at a Portland skilled care/rehab facility.
My goal, as many of you know, is to live as long as I can, as well as I can, not a moment less -- nor a moment more. While Dr Pommier's goal, to quote him: "...is to have you die of something other than neuroendocrine carcinoma.” We, doctor and patient, are on the same page: extend quality of life as best we can. And, while surgery is itself a risk doing nothing, when the need is present is, as in all of life, a much bigger risk.
Please hold Barbara, me, and our family close to your heart, keeping in mind that life is a blessing, jubilant, and I believe, lived more thankfully if we include delight and joyful laughter into every experience - including this one.
Over the years I've come to know Caring Bridge as a helpful site - I hope you too will find it useful.
Once more, thank you for your continuing love, your support and your ongoing care.
Between our return and the surgery date please feel free to contact me by phone, text, email or dropping by - We'll be clear if it's a good time for us or not :0)