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Feb 15, 2018 Latest post:
Sep 7, 2018
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
In late summer 2017, Tom experienced back pain he thought was related to straining. An MRI showed some orthopedic issues but nothing else significant. In December of 2017, Tom started developing GI symptoms and saw a GI doctor who said it was simply a bacterial infection. However Tom continued losing weight and the symptoms worsened. On New Years Eve, Tom and Pam went to the ER on the encouragement of Matthew (Tom's son) to get a CAT scan. The scan was read as normal, but symptoms persisted. Tom had now lost 20 pounds. Concerned that something was wrong, Matthew, a body radiologist in Charlotte, asked Tom to send him a copy of the scan. His intuition was confirmed when he saw unresectable pancreatic cancer probably stage 4. Matthew urged Tom to go for a biopsy immediately. Tom and Pam were able to meet with the head of pancreatic cancer at Hopkins, where stage 4 pancreatic cancer was confirmed and treatment options explored. Inthe end the decision was made to pursue a promising clinical trial in Scottsdale Arizona, (one suggested by Hopkins). After much prayer and confirmation (over 72 hours), Pam and Tom were on a plane to Scottsdale. Tom began treatment on Thursday, February, 8th. The clinical trial includes three different chemo drugs, one immunotherapy drug, and a Vitamin D derivative which they hope will soften the fibrous exterior of the pancreatic tumor and allow the other drugs in to do their job killing the cancer.