Mar 23, 2009 Latest post:
Mar 17, 2013
Welcome to our CaringBridge site. Be sure to read the latest in the journal, view the photo gallery, and drop us a line in the guestbook.
Ken was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on 3/19/09. He fought the disease with love, strength and creativity for almost 22 months. Although he has left us, we remember him and the many lessons we learned together about truth, love and life.
Ken was the loving husband to Amy, and wonderful father to Nora, Madeline and Patrick. Ken and Amy were together since high school, and celebrated their 21st wedding anniversary in June, 2010. The Lees loved to spend time together playing games, exploring the outdoors, skiing and biking.
Ken had seen cancer from the perspective of a general surgeon who cared for many people with cancers. He was strengthened by the wisdom shared with him by so many patients who had battled the disease.
Ken began a three week course of chemotherapy on 3/27/09. He then completed a second phase of treatment with radiation. These early interventions turned out to be relatively easy and Ken's tumor appeared to shrink slightly. We were hopeful he would become a candidate for surgical removal of the tumor.
In late May, 2009, we got word from his surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic, Matt Walsh, MD, that Dr. Walsh was interested in attempting the complicated surgery. The position of the tumor was difficult and would lead to an unusual approach to removal.
On July 20, 2009, Ken underwent surgery to remove the tumor, 2/3 of his pancreas, his stomach and his spleen. There was reconstruction of his his bowel and his hepatic artery in the operation as well. Ken was in surgery for 7 hours and hospitalized for 3 weeks thereafter. The results of surgery were technically excellent and it appeared that Ken was cancer free. We experienced many challenges following the surgery. Although we thought we had this cancer beat, in February, 2010, we learned that the cancer was back.
Ken, and all of us who loved him, were able to cherish every day for close to another year. Ken left us on January 4, 2011. We continue to find strength in our love and memories. We are sustained by love and the support offered to us by so many.