In late January, 2017, Steve was diagnosed with duodenal adenocarcinoma, a rare form of intestinal cancer. We will post updates here to keep family and friends up-to-date with what is happening. Thanks for visiting, and for your good wishes for Steve.
Steve's edit: I can't claim to be a story teller, I don't have a bunch of jokes at the ready, except one and it's a favorite because I am a visual guy and you have to visualize the joke to get it. OK, here goes: "So a skeleton walks into a bar and orders a beer and a mop...." Stop and picture it.
Now that you are all loosened up, here's the scoop. I'll start with my lesson for you: If you feel something, go see somebody. Way back on January 21 I thought I had some indigestion, maybe not unlike a lot of people, perhaps some bad guacamole or something. Instead of getting better it got worse. We suspected it might be a gall stone or a gall bladder issue. There were many appointments, scans, and shifting theories.
What the ten dollar words "duodenal adenocarcinoma" mean is a tumor on the wall of the small intestine just below where it joins the stomach. What was happening was that the tumor was interfering with where the duct from the gall bladder and pancreas joins the small intestine. In this regard I am very lucky because if the duct hadn't gotten blocked the tumor probably would have grown undetected.
A few words about what this means. First, as Ann noted above, this is a very rare form of cancer. Why I got it nobody knows, there is no history of it in my family and aside from this I am as healthy as a horse. Additionally, the typical age of patients is 60, so I've got youth on my side as well. The cancer is so rare that there are few and small studies on its treatment, and the ones that you clever and curious Googlers might find are already out of date as the protocol has been changing in just the past few years. Second, we have the world class experts at the Mayo Clinic on the job - both in surgery and oncology. They realize I have a lot of good years left in me, and coupled with my good health and youth think I will be an excellent candidate for a surgical procedure to remove the cancer, coupled with chemo to really clean up any rogue elements.
The medical team is second to none, and coupled with Ann, I can't imagine being in better hands. All in all, I feel incredibly lucky and grateful.
I'll wrap this up with my deep thought for the day and with thanks for your well wishes, prayers, and offers of assistance. These will all be most appreciated. But I want to ask you to do something more, I want you all to be the best at what you do. You artists, make the most beautiful art. Musicians, make a beautiful noise. Teachers, teach your children well. Even the lawyers, make the best legal documents you can. We can all add just a little bit more beauty to the world in our every day activities and you will be amazed at the results.