Oliver’s Story

Site created on August 31, 2018

Welcome to our CaringBridge website. You can share this easy address to get to this page:  http://oliver.habichts.net/. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement left here. And please refrain from sending Oliver email, texting, or calling him at this time.  Amelia is committed to taking things a day at a time and may be delayed or non-responsive to any message she receives. Her more frequent updates are available at http://twitter.com/habichthealth

Summary: Oliver has pancreatic cancer. As of 9/17/2018, Oliver has few, if any, symptoms.

The story begins when Oliver had not felt well for more than a week, with fatigue and increasingly yellow skin and eyes, along with other symptoms but no pains.
On Monday, August  27th, arranged to see his doctor during work hours. Tests conducted and imaging were ordered for the next day. He then biked back up the hill to finish out the workday.
Tuesday (8/28) was picture day: An abdominal ultrasound detected a mass pressing closed the common bile duct, followed by a CT scan later that day to better characterize the 3 cm (1.1 inch) mass in the head of the pancreas. Such growths are 95% cancerous.
Wednesday (8/29) was fix-the-blocked-bile-duct day (ERCP), in which a plastic stent enabled the bile to again flow, with an overnight stay at the hospital in case of blood clots and for general post-op monitoring.
On Thursday (8/30), Oliver was discharged in the morning in time to go home and then attend a working lunch. And he felt well enough to work for a few hours before going home.
Friday morning (8/31) was spent preparing for a long holiday weekend departure that afternoon to the Adirondacks with family and friends. We returned Monday late afternoon, after much fun and joy. 
By Wednesday (9/5), we received results from various clinical tests, and it was confirmed the mass was indeed cancer. We know the road ahead will be uncertain and rough, so thank you for visiting and keeping up with the rest of Oliver's story through this site. Significant updates will be listed within this site's Journal entries.

Newest Update

Journal entry by Oliver Habicht

Today is my "last" chemo, #12 of 12. "Last" is in quotes because I may be receiving chemo as part of later care. And, more importantly, this series of chemo treatments have been in preparation for the next phases of treatment, which will be clarified after visits to Memorial Sloan Kettering (NYC) and Johns Hopkins (Baltimore) March 20th and 22nd, respectively. Next steps may include surgery, to remove the tumor. Or perhaps radiation, or even something else I haven't yet considered. I will certainly post here in about three weeks, once we find out. Please note that my next update to this site may not be until after those visits. Thus, for those of you who count the days, please don't fret if you don't see anything new at the two-week mark!
 
I continue working out when I can, limited to my second week as before. I tried doing some cardio the Friday following treatment but after just 20 minutes had to stop since I felt very lightheaded. However, during the following week, I was able to do up to 1.5 hours of cardio at a time on some days, indoors at the Y. I did some stationary biking, as well as alternating run-walking on the treadmill, but not quite as often as every-other-day due mostly to lower daily energy levels.
 
I experienced a tougher-than-normal weekend-before-treatment, all starting with Friday night during which we had to deal with a private, long-standing, medical issue within the family, nothing related to my cancer. Also, my peripheral neuropathy has lasted longer than before, with sensation irregularities in both my fingers and feet right up to today's treatment. Reasons to limit this aggressive chemo to 12 treatments is because we don't want there to be permanent damage to my peripheral nerves. And there may be diminishing returns on the effect of the chemo poisons on the tumor.
 
Wherever you are, far or near, I always appreciate your Comments here. Each one has been so very helpful to me, and I am so grateful to hear from so many of you during my treatment. Thank you, all, and expect to see an entry here before March 26th!
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