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

This morning we had our second consultation with Dr. Charles Garbo, with Amelia, my father, JP, and step-mother, Gretel. Dr. Garbo confirmed Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center's (MSK) treatment plan to begin with chemotherapy (chemo) for 4 months before considering surgery.

The 4-month plan, if all goes well, is for a "port" to be installed in my chest in Ithaca next Monday, with chemo likely starting then. Infusions are every 2 weeks, thus every other Monday. My chemo treatment can all be done in Ithaca, and MSK's doctors encourage this approach. Thus I will be well taken care of by Dr. Garbo and his team during this time. A CT scan will be conducted 2 months after treatment begins, at which point we hope to see the tumor getting smaller. Especially if that happens, treatment continues and another CT scan is conducted in another 2 months, with a subsequent consult with MSK's oncology surgeon and oncologist.

There are many reasons the above plan might change, and we'll post substantial changes to that plan on this website.

Infusion details: The infusion consists of multiple drugs and medications, each with its own "bag" and thus the process each time will take at least 4 hours. (It can take longer, depending on my reactions.) Many of the drugs (most infused, perhaps some in pill form) are calibrated to help manage the treatment's side-effect on me or to increase its effectiveness. The main treatment regimen is FOLFIRINOX, which includes a "bag" for each of its 3 medications. This includes one medication which must continue infusing for 46 hours. Fortunately, they make this particular "bag" (and pump) portable and it remains connected to the port day-and-night until it's connection to my chest port is removed the Wednesday following each treatment Monday.

I have so very much appreciated everyone's comments and tributes- thank you all! I remain largely without symptoms. For example, I biked up a local steep hill (Kline Road) at 8:30 last night after visiting with friends for dinner downtown, and it felt refreshingly like the pre-diagnosis days.
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Thoughts & Well Wishes

Hening Lin | Sep 22, 2018
Dear Oliver,
Best wishes to you and your family. Our thoughts are with you during this difficult time. I hope the your treatment will go well. I just came back from a 2-week trip to China, during which I could not access the caringbridge site. Since we are close neighbors, please do let me and Xuan know if there is anything that we can help.
Hening and Xuan
Judy Hopcroft | Sep 21, 2018
Dear Oliver,
We are rooting for you!  'Glad to see Garbo is your doctor.  I had him when I had breast cancer and he was first rate: a kind man and a researcher who would go the extra mile to inform and educate.  Thank you for introducing us to Caring Bridge.  It is brilliant!  Our very best wishes to you as you begin treatment.
Warm regards, The Hopcrofts


Craig Wiggers | Sep 18, 2018
Dear Oliver,
I have been thinking about you quite a bit and I want you to know that positive thoughts and prayers are coming your way.  Despite the challenges ahead, please know that we are here to provide support and encouragement.  Stay strong, focus on fighting and recovery!

All the best,
Michael Lenetsky | Sep 15, 2018

You and your family are in my thoughts during this difficult time. I hope that you remain optimistic, strong and engaged during this period of treatment and recovery. I know that you possess these characteristics and also that they will help you during the challenging days ahead.

Wishing you all of the best as you face this head on.
Joel Cadbury | Sep 15, 2018
Oliver, you and your family are in our thoughts. Your positive and proactive approach to all challenges is serving you well, and I am grateful to know you are getting the best possible care. Let me know if there is any local errand or service or help I can provide. Joel (and Adrianne)
Bing Fu | Sep 13, 2018
Hi Oliver, I wish you and your family all the best. It seems that you are being taken care of really well and are getting the best possible medical treatments so I believe you can certainly overcome this difficulty with courage together with your family and get well in the near future. Hope for the best. 
Brian Crane | Sep 13, 2018
Dear Oliver and Family - The thoughts and concern of the Chemistry Department (and the Cranes) are with you in these trying times. Wishing you every possible good turn in treatment and recovery. Your optimism, intelligence and analytical mind will continue to serve you well. Sincere sympathy for your family, may you face the challenge as a united front. We hope for the best.
Jonathan Layish and the Red Barn crew. | Sep 12, 2018
Hi Oliver, I just heard about what you are going through. I am so sorry life threw you this curve ball. I know that you will face your challenges with the same tenacity and intelligence that I have seen you deal with everything in your professional life. My sincerest thoughts are with you and your family in this time of need. I wish you all the strength you need to face the road ahead. Please let me know if there is anything at all I can do to help.
Mark Pedersen | Sep 6, 2018
I think of the bare-footed guy running the races and the same person who sleeps out in sub-zero weather.... just because he can.  Despite what must be running through your mind (emotions) I think of the logical (and caring) person who will figure this out in his own way.  Your toughness will serve you well, my friend, but know that many of us are out here to assist you, Amelia, Peter and Cady in any meaningful way that we can.  Thank you for setting this up for us to stay informed and be of help to a dear friend.
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