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3/1/2017 Latest post:
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. Greg was diagnosed with stage IV B inoperable Pancreatic Cancer in mid-November. He was immediately scheduled for two procedures, i.e., an endoscopic biopsy to type the cancer and a couple of days later, he had a port surgically placed so he could receive blood draws, chemo, IV fluids, etc. through this port. A couple of days after that, he started chemo, three Wednesdays on and one Wednesday off... repeat, repeat...etc. Periodically, he will receive new CT scans of his abdomen to size the tumors, etc. He is receiving great care from Dr. Benga, a rock star Oncologist at the Barrett Cancer Center as well as concern from Dr. Bill Barrett who I worked with at UC when I was at the medical center so he consulted on his case and brought in another UC Oncologist to review his case as well.
Greg has faced (and overcome) multiple challenges such as several dehydrations from the toxicity of the chemo, sepsis, seizure-like episodes where his heart beat per minute would range from 140-226 and several times resulted in his losing consciousness. Add to these complications of a 52 pound weight loss, i.e., (down to 122 lbs. from 174 lbs.) and he has really had an uphill battle. These various health issues have resulted in multiple ER visits as well as many nights of hospital stays and some home health care nursing for a week while receiving IV antibiotics at home. His last ER visit, he saw the wonderful Dr. Pancioli, Emergency Med Physician (for the 4th time) who early on mentioned this could be SVT (Supra Ventricular Tachycardia) but his multiple dehydrations were considered the culprit until proven otherwise. Dr. Pancioli (who I also worked with at UC medical center) kept him in the ER for 12 hours on his last ER visit (Feb 13th) and fully hydrated him and invited the Cardiology Team down and while they were there, they observed another sustained high heart rate and he received a diagnosis of SVT and they immediately started him on beta blockers. (Dr. P. congratulated Greg for "performing for the Cardiologists" =-) He was hospitalized again for three days at this time. They ordered an "event monitor" for him which he has to wear for one month. He goes back to a Cardiology appointment in mid-March and the results of this monitoring will help the doctor know if his dosage is right or not. Meanwhile, these beta blocker meds appear to be successfully treating his heart rhythm issues and he has regained 11 pounds as of today's posting on 3/1/17. He is still only at 133 pounds but if he's gained 11 pounds in three weeks, my money is on him that he can regain all of his weight. He has gone from needing a walker, wheel chair at the Barrett, assistance getting up and down the stairs, and constant care to not needing a walker, wheel chair, assistance going up and down the stairs and he is pushing me to go back to work on Monday. It's hard not to "hover" after all he's been through but I'm convinced he is on his way to recovery. When he was originally diagnosed, his CA19-9 tumor marker blood results were over 15,000; the next test a few weeks later showed a decrease to just over 8,000, a few weeks later a decrease to just over 3,000 and today another decrease to 1,564. These counts going down is a positive indicator that his chemo treatment is working.
We appreciate your support, prayers and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.