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A very special "Thank You" to everyone that has sent a card, gave me a hug in the hallways at church, called to say they are praying for me and so much more. I never realized how many wonderful people are out there and how many people really care about the medical issues I am now facing. Each and everyone of you have boosted my determination and spirit to fight this battle.
A little about the journey that brought me and my family to this point in my life. I had my gall bladder removed in late September, I changed my eating habits. I cut out most fried foods and my favorite, late night snacks. I started losing weight. I felt good and was excited to watch the weight slowly coming off. We had a wonderful Christmas with everyone coming to our house. Especially, to see our new grandson, Calvin Leander Nelson. It was indeed a very special time for all of us. In mid February, my weight had dropped to around 170 pounds. I had lost about 30 pounds. Then, all of a sudden, my blood sugar went through the roof. I was having trouble urinating. Karen had gone to visit the new grandson in North Carolina. When she returned, I scheduled an appointment with my new general practitioner, Dr. Millspaugh. He was alarmed by my sugar levels and he told me that something was not working right with my Pancreas. That was on a Friday. We went back to see him again on Monday and he started me on medication to lower my sugar and also started me on insulin. So, I went from no drugs to pills and daily shots over the weekend. Dr. Millspaugh was able to get a CD scan for me here in Hendersonville. That was around 4:30 on Wednesday. He called me at home around 6:30 that evening to give me the results of the scan. He said that normally he would not do this over the phone, but wanted me to get the information right away. The scan showed a mass in my Pancreas and spots on my liver. He scheduled me an appointment with Dr Pariak at Vanderbilt Hospital. He is the lead physician dealing with Pancreatic issues. We had to wait over a week to see him. I must say that the wait was hard to bare. His news was not good. From the CD scans, his team determined that I had Pancreatic Cancer that has spread into my liver. Because it had spread to my liver, it was considered to be in-operable. Our next steps was to get a biopsy on the growth in my liver to verify their findings. Another week went by while we waited for that to happen. We got the results of the biopsy a few days later and it confirmed my worse fears. In the mean time, we scheduled a meeting with Dr. Emily Chan, an oncologist at Vanderbilt. She spent a couple hours with Karen, my oldest son, Patrick and myself explaining treatment options and answering many, many questions. During this conversation, we were offered the opportunity to investigate the clinical trials going on at Vanderbilt. More to come...stay tuned.