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My battle with Pancreatic Cancer

To journal my weekly progress with Pancreatic Cancer

Latest journal entry

Posted 2020-01-04T18:03:01Z

Its a NEW YEAR!! 2020 make me proud...

I know..I know...Its been a month plus since my last update. What can I say my life just isn't that interesting :)
So much has happened since my last update....

The Highlights

  • Treatment Update
  • Vermont Trip
  • Bald and Beautiful
  • Our Rescue Dog...Missy
  • The Holiday's
  • Poker Brats

Treatment Update
I guess I should start with my treatments and overall progress. I continued my bi-weekly treatment schedule through Nov./Dec. Nothing really special about each treatment, although we did have some hiccups here and there. 

Diabetes Diagnosis:

The biggest change (or addition) now is becoming diabetic. There are mixed reviews on whether Pancreatic cancer causes Diabetes or Diabetes causes of Pancreatic cancer.

Prior to my cancer diagnosis, my general doctor became concerned when my A1-C numbers came back as pre-diabetic. This was one of the precursor decisions to send me for my initial scan. Is it a side effect? I really do not know. All I can say is that now I am adding a 3rd shot to my regimen :(

You can read more about the topic on Pancan's site HERE

In December, my A1-C came back with 8.0 which is over the normal range of < 7. So, now we have a new regimen to add to the plethora of others. I now wear a Freestyle Libre to monitor blood sugar. My blood sugar tends to spike after chemotherapy. When it does need to take an insulin injection. Our educated guess is that the pre-chemo steroids and one of the chemo agents is causing the spike.  

Along I go with a new issue to monitor..Ugghhh

CA-19-9 markers

We received some great news that my CA-19-9 numbers continue to fall. If you recall my original starting # was over 225,000. Today, I am under 10,000. Thats a 96% reduction from the START!! 

6 Month CT Scan Results

On Dec. 17th I had my 6 month scans. Too say the least we were very happy with the results. The larger tumors had major reductions, while many of the smaller leasions in the Liver have since died. My Pancreas Tumor has shrunk from 6cm to under 2cm and my Liver tumor has shrunk from 8cm to around 4cm. The doctors were very surprised by the level of reduction and stated they were REMARKABLE results which is very uncommon. Merry Christmas to me !!

Vermont Trip

Lori and I got a chance to spend a long weekend in Vermont. We had a great time antiquing, taking in the landscape and attempting a level of normalcy that has been missing for awhile. We stayed at the Woodstock Inn in Woodstock, VT. Had a great time whi8le we were there. 

BTW - if you are in the VT Killington area and need a stellar breakfast, check out the Back Country Café (Yelp). 

Bald and the Beautiful

The decision to go bald or not has been slowly weighing on me. My hair thinned and greyed out to the point of no return, so the logical decision was to hack it all off. To be honest it was somewhat freeing and makes showering so much faster. LOL!!

I can see where this can be a hard point in the process for anyone. Its only hair and it will grow back. THIS doesn't define who I am or what I am going to accomplish. is it a little chillier than normal, sure, but nothing a beanie cant fix. 

All kidding aside, taking the step was a difficult one, but I think I am rocking it!!!


Our Rescue Dog...Missy
For the past 5 years we have been volunteering our time with a great organization that rescues stray dogs locally from kill shelters. Each dog is measured for their aggression and adoptability before taking them in. The organization will then have them checked out by the veterinarian. The name of the organization is Halfway Hounds
. Our volunteer work has typically been to visit adoption events, walk the dogs, and spread the work through social media.

We received a call in December from Dana at Halfway Hounds about a rescue they picked up from a shelter. They needed a foster family to take the dog in, otherwise she would need to remain at the shelter. In came Missy!!

Missy is a BullDog/Boxer mix. we got the chance to foster her for a couple of weeks and assisted with getting her adopted.

The Holiday's
The end of a decade, but continued hope and personal growth.

This time of year brings families together to celebrate the end of a year and start of new. Clean the slate and start fresh. I wish it was that easy. It can also be a very difficult time of year for as we remember our family members that have passed.

My mother passed away December 16, 2015 of Pancreatic cancer. My father passed away January 31, 2019 from side affects from many prior years of cancer treatments. We remember those that are no longer with us, but we have a greater opportunity to celebrate those that are still with us.

New Year's resolutions are typically 1 of 2 choices. 1. Lose weight or 2. Make more Money. If you ask me, bitrh are pretty shallow goals. We can lose weight at any point of the year. There is no reason to wait for a particular day to start. And for those that want to make more money. Its simple. Work harder and smarter. A new year will not solve your problems or magically make up for time lost. You are the only person that can make a change, but make that change on your terms not an arbitrary date.

My resolution is simple. "Keep on Keepin' on" - I will remain focused and optimistic on my improving my health.

Poker Brats

So, I will end my "catch-up" journal entry with one of my favorite past times. Earlier this week I got the chance to spend time with my AZ cousin (John) at the Wind Creek Casino in Bethlehem, PA playing poker. I had a great time. We played for over 10hrs straight and although I didn't win, it was the first time, in a LONG time, I actually felt normal. Focusing on the cards and the game, completely un-focused my attention from my treatment. I was a normal guy, sitting at a table trying to take everyone's money. It really was a therapeutic time, that I plan to continue in the New Year more frequently!!

Happy New Year - Welcome to the ROARING 20's!!!



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