Oliver’s Story

Site created on August 31, 2018

Welcome to our CaringBridge website and please share the following web address to this page to inform others of Oliver's illness:


We appreciate your support and the words of hope and encouragement you leave 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 might be delayed or non-responsive to any message she receives. Our slightly more frequent updates are available at the website http://twitter.com/habichthealth

Current status
Oliver has terminal cancer and on March 16, 2020 was advised he could expect to live another four to six months. At home, on hospice, he and his family are also managing around the coronavirus pandemic which everyone else is dealing with, too.

Summary of events
Oliver was increasingly ill in August 2018 and late that month he went to his doctor. He was quickly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer within a couple of days. Oliver subsequently completed 6 months of chemotherapy every-other-week in Ithaca, for a total of 12 sessions. About a month later he had almost daily radiation treatments in New York City for three weeks. Finally, Oliver had significant abdominal surgery performed June 17, 2019, in Milwaukee, a procedure that removed about 45% of his pancreas along with other components. He recovered well from that and subsequently was able to work a few months part-time starting in December 2029, enjoyed multiple trips through the country with family, and got back to flying small planes for fun.

Details on how this journey started
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  27, 2018, he arranged to see his doctor during work hours. Tests were conducted and imaging was ordered for the next day. He then biked back up the hill to finish out the workday.
* Tuesday (8/28) was what I call a medical"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 inches) 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 knew at the time that the road ahead was going to be uncertain and rough. With that in mind, we thank you so very much for visiting this site to keep up with the rest of Oliver's story within this site's Journal entries and for repeatedly leaving your kind and generous messages of support.

Newest Update

Journal entry by Amelia Habicht

At this point, the link for the Zoom memorial has been emailed to family and close friends. With a 100 person limit in the church’s Zoom Room, this initial memorial at noon on October 31 is for family and good friends with a few placeholders in my count so that if many people RSVP with a “No” or if I’ve inadvertently left out people, I can send the link out wider. I’ll plan on posting again a few days before the Zoom. 

The Zoom will be live-streamed on the church's You Tube channel so it can be viewed by everyone. I'll post that channel link mid-week next week, as well.

The full, formal, in-person memorial at the Unitarian church in downtown Ithaca will be held in a future year when these limitations of the pandemic have receded into our memories of the past. This date will be posted widely, including here on this CaringBridge site.

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