Welcome to Steve's CaringBridge page. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place on his diagnosis and treatment. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
Steve was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer on Friday, June 1st, 2018. He originally went in to the doctor because of Jaundice, loss of appetite, and stomach pains. A CT scan and biopsy have confirmed the diagnosis. Our first questions were regarding the stage/grade/prognosis and treatment options. The stage of the cancer is a very difficult thing to pinpoint with Pancreatic Cancer. We were told the term "stage" is old fashioned and largely irrelevant in this case. Here is what we know so far... the tumor is large (7cm), there are no obvious signs of lymph nodes, the tumor location is effecting mostly veins and arteries, tests so far show the cancer has not spread (metastasized) to other organs, and the biopsy sample shows it is low grade (grows and spreads at a slower rate).
Last week, Steve had 2 stents put in to help drain the bile, get rid of the Jaundice, and allow his liver to strengthen and heal. A chemo port will be put in later this week. He will receive chemo every 14 days for two to three months. Then, one month of radiation with a little chemo mixed in to make the radiation work better. He will be very immune compromised during this time, so hand washing is vital. Tumor shrinkage/response and any spreading of the cancer over the next several months will highly dictate the possibility of surgery. The surgery, however, is risky because of the veins and arteries near and around the tumor. This would most likely be done at the Mayo.
Nutrition is extremely important at this time. A diet of very little meat (esp red meat), high in fruits and veggies, and little to no complex carbs is recommended. We have also set up a GoFundMe page to help cover the cost of Steve’s medical expenses.