Aug 12, 2019 Latest post:
22 hours ago
Big Change of Plans
November 2018 I had pancreatitis which was diagnosed as idiopathic - with no known cause. I came to the States for more testing but it was a strange puzzling case in the words of several doctors.
But now we know the cause. Cancer was developing out of the inflammation in the pancreas. We came to Virginia from Kenya and I got a follow up MRI in July (8 months later) which showed a small mass on the neck of the pancreas lying next to the aorta vein but not meshed in. The biopsy did not show anything clearly because of the inflammation but a cancer marker blood test read very high and made it a clear indication it is cancer.
We canceled our trip to England and Kenya and have been staying partly with our son, Shep and wife, Maria and two grandsons, Kristian and Matias and now in the home of friends who are away for a couple of months. We will decide in the future whether we rent a house or just stay with friends and family. We are planning on being here at least 8 months. At the moment I feel more secure staying at friends’ houses than being in a place by ourselves. We did stay at a hotel for two nights which was nice for a break. We hope to rent our house out in Nairobi just to cover operating expenses there. Someone is interested now.
Our health insurance is an HMO Kaiser Permanente. If we do surgery with them it is basically free. But many people have advised we go to Johns Hopkins in Baltimore for the surgery. Right now we have to decide whether to do chemo or surgery first. We’re still waiting on an appointment with JHU.
Sam is still hoping to get back to Kenya for the Men’s Gathering or some other time but that depends on my treatment schedule. However, it is amazing how much gets accomplished by email and phone calls or through people visiting Washington DC.
The marvelous thing is that I have an incredible peace and calmness. No shock or disappointment on finding out. I’ve been joyful throughout. I know full well there are terrible days ahead but I’m not distressed about it. I truly have peace that passes all understanding.
I’ll be doing frequent updates and reflections on the Journal. You can read as much or little as you want. 😊 and you can respond on the site or by email just to me.
FYI : There are donation places on the website but make sure to read whether the money goes to CaringBridge. With Amy’s site, people have given and been disappointed that the money did not go to her but to the organization.