Oliver | CaringBridge

Oliver’s Story
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

I felt much better earlier within this 2-week cycle, coinciding with an increased use of the anti-nausea drugs and many wonderful visits by far-flung friends and family. The one thing that seems to be getting worse is the tingling/ pain in my fingers, especially in reaction to cold. Even holding a metal laptop at room temperature can invoke the pain. Too bad we are entering into winter!
 
Tomorrow (Thursday, 11/15) we drive 3.5 hours-plus to a Memorial Sloan Kettering facility in NJ to get a high-resolution CT scan to measure the size of the tumor. We are hoping the tumor is of the same size or smaller compared to the last imaging as an indication the chemo is having the desired effect. I'll report here or on Twitter if it's otherwise. I am nominally at the half-way point of the anticipated 8-cycle chemo treatment (4 months initially prescribed, October through January), but it can be extended to twelve 2-week cycles or something else completely, depending on changes in my condition.
 
Major fun at our house during this cycle included a four-day visit by Amelia's sister and her husband, Laura and Dan, from Ohio. Among many other things, they took out our four window air conditioners, took in the patio furniture, painted the hallway baseboards in preparation for new carpet, cleared out a key gutter, helped with family room de-cluttering, made meals, and went on morning runs, sometimes with Cady. I also received a lovely visit from good a friend from California, Tamara, visiting us with her Ithaca friend Mihal for a great evening of homemade cooking-stone pizza and VIVE virtual-reality underwater fun. Long-time family friend Ken has been visiting us for the week, coming all the way from Colorado, which inspired a dinner together with our good friend Joel. So much sacrifice, caring, love, and help from so many have been helping me feel better! Even though it was a Tuesday of the second week in the cycle, I had the energy to celebrate Cady's swim team's undefeated accomplishments at the school district-wide Commendations Ceremony last night.
 
In other good news, my Mum moved into an apartment located under 2 miles away, which was identified through our close friends Laura and Arthur. If anyone has suggestions for weekly or monthly low-use car loan or rental, please do let us know. This will facilitate my mother getting back and forth to our house for when our cars might otherwise be unavailable.
 
I am dreading next Monday less than the last cycle, bearing in mind that each cycle can be different, for better or worse. With that in mind, I send a special shout-out to Bill whose experienced guidance has been invaluable to me in so many ways, including framing my understanding of what is happening.
 
The thoughtful notes you all keep writing here are an important highlight of each day - thank you, thank you, thank you!
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