Jan 25, 2020 Latest post:
Jan 30, 2020
From Katie, Joe's oldest daughter:
What a long, strange trip it's been! As the doctor's have said, our dad has been quite the unusual patient, he is not the norm. Which of course we wouldn't expect anything different from him.
In January 2018, Dad was diagnosed with Stage 2 Pancreatic Cancer and prepared to have Whipple surgery to remove the cancer 6 months later. Unfortunately, it was at that time that we learned his cancer had spread and there was now a spot on his liver making him Stage 4 and no longer a candidate for the surgery. Dad had been able to maintain his cancer markers through chemotherapy, exercise and a diet of Merkts cheese, Triscuits, peanut butter and well anything else that he wanted! His goal was to kick cancer's ass, and that he did. About 12 months into his journey, he learned that he even has a very rare DNA that allowed him to be on a very specialized drug making his cancer nearly impossible to see through scans. Unfortunately, as with most pancreatic cancer, it outsmarts the drugs at some point and this Christmas 2019 he learned that his cancer did just that. He has begun working with his oncology team to understand options for best case scenario and was able to be pre-qualified for a trial at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center on the east coast. But he hit a set-back late Monday night the 13th. Close to midnight he suffered a stroke that landed him back in UW hospital. Almost immediately, he began showing improvements but it has still left him needing rehabilitation to gain full use of the left side of his body. He is currently at Lakeland Hospital in Elkhorn, WI for rehabilitation and awaiting results and direction on what lies ahead in terms of chemotherapy and trial possibilities with this setback. Now that his health is being taken day by day, we will continue to update all of you. We thank you for your amazing support and love as he continues into his third year living with Pancreatic Cancer.