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7/7/2017 Latest post:
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. Thank you for visiting. On June 30 I was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma, which is cancer in the biliary ducts. My illness actually started in February when I thought I simply had a stomach virus. I finally went to the doctor in April where a blood test revealed an abnormally high bilirubin count and the early stages of jaundice. Thus started the process of figuring out what was causing this. After several appointments, ultrsound, more blood work and MRI, a blockage was found. Thankfully, an astute physician realized my case looked complicated and immediately referred me to a gastroenterologist at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington DC, which is part of the Johns Hopkins hospital in Baltimore MD. It took about 6 separate procedures including biopsies , a couple trips to the emergency department and a 5 day hospital stay to finally confirm the cancer diagnosis. Needless to say, we were relieved to finally have a diagnosis. The main objectives of all these procedures, in addition to biopsies, was to insert tubes to enable bile to flow and reduce the jaundice. I wore external bags for about 2.5 weeks to assist in that process. Jaundice appears to be under control now, so I will be able to start chemotherapy which will begin on the 17th of July. The goal is to reduce the size of the tumor to allow the tumor to be surgically removed.
As of July 1, I have begun a medical leave from my ministerial duties at Springfield United Methodist Church. This will allow me to focus my energy on my health and healing. Lori is my caregiver and has been chauffeuring me to procedures, appointments and helping me to navigate all this. She is also incredibly persistent, encouraging me to eat and drink to stay hydrated and nourished. I love her more than I can possibly say.
We truly appreciate all the cards, prayers, support and words of encouragement during this time. It helps tremendously. With God's help we will get through this. I have been preaching hope for 20 years and I know God is my healer and comforter. I look forward to reading your comments. I know they will be filled with the love and encouragement we need. May the Grace and Peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.