Thank you for finding Kent’s page. This is Suze writing on May 2nd , 2021. We are using the Caring Bridge site to create a space where we can share health updates with friends and family. Updates on Kent’s progress and his travels through this health journey will be posted, and we encourage you to interact with these posts, sending thoughts and well wishes, jokes and wise cracks….he will see them all.
This last month of April has been head spinning, and has left us reeling Kent had not been feeling 100% this winter, and we thought it was his gall bladder. He was scheduled for gall bladder surgery , but became extremely jaundiced, and an MRI was ordered and a tumor found blocking his bile duct. His first emergency surgery was an ERCP, to put in a stent to get the bile flowing in right direction and it was successful. They were able to gather some cells from the tumor The tumor is malignant, and in his pancreas, so we were already meeting with oncologists before he checked out of hospital. More appointments the following week and Kent was scheduled and received his port and first chemo on April 9th. That weekend following this first chemo, he was running a fever and had flu like symptoms. When his temperature spiked to 103 , we shot to ER in Asheville - (at the same hospital he is being treated at) and they admitted him immediately to isolation on the oncology floor for neutropenic fever. Doctors were trying to figure out what was cause of fever and after more tests— it was found to be his gallbladder!!!!!! Inflamed and bothered. He then had another emergency surgery to remove his gallbladder and the surgeon found it was quite infected, ruptured into his liver, and had large gallstone — all cleaned up and removed. Kent spent a week in the hospital until he was stable enough to come home. I was so grateful that I was able to stay with him in his rooms, both times… if this had been last year, they were not allowing family on the floor due to COVID. His chemo treatments have been put on hold to allow healing, while he gains his strength back, and his white blood count gets built back up for next rounds of treatments. He needs a strong immune system and to continue to stay safe. This last week of April, we had a teleconference with a pancreatic cancer specialist in Pittsburgh. He had ordered and read a specific scan, and was able to determine that his tumor is Stage 3, locally advanced, and a bit of spread to the lymph node. The tumor needs chemo to shrink it before being a candidate for surgery. We were hoping it was not as advanced, but also note that it is not metastatic, although pancreatic cancer is a tricky one, known for recurrence and relapse. April 2021 has been a shitstorm.
As this news slowly gets out to our friends and family, we have received so much support from our community, near and far. Thank you for the cards and messages, the food deliveries and help in the studio, as I’ve tried to keep our business going. But most of all for your love, hope and compassion. We will love hearing from you, but please understand if you do not hear back. We are working hard to learn more about the disease, and gear Kent’s diet to follow certain protocols that will help his body reduce the tumor size, and the effect of chemo. Friends have advised on juicing, eating only raw and whole foods, vitamins, gummies, and rest, rest, rest. That’s where we are starting. Sending big love.