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OLLIE'S DAD'S Saga


Some of you wanted to know my general situation as a result of Ollie's celebration. I offer this Bio in hopes that it may provide a ray of hope to others and it may be useful in itself. I am 65 years old and, up until February 2000, a very active and healthy retiree, much into physical fitness and running. On 1/7/00 my saga began when the family Doctor noted a drop in my platelet count during a routine, annual physical; absolutely no other symptoms for what lay ahead. A 2/8/00 Cat Scan reveals a 7cm tumor on the tail of the Pancreas and a "spot" on the Liver. There was a 2/17/00 meeting with Dr. Charles Yeo of Johns Hopkins to discuss the situation . Surgery on 2/29/00 resulted in resection of the Pancreas and Liver, and removal of a couple of local Lymph Nodes. I was diagnosed as Stage IV Adenocarcinoma with mets to the Liver and Lymph Nodes. Dr. Yeo tells me that he got "everything he could see or feel". The Pathology Report indicated that the margins were clear. At this point I elected to participate 'sidesaddle' on a study of "Adjuvent Combined Modality Therapy" -- local irradiation combined with continuous 5-FU infusion with Leucovorin, Dipyridamole, and Mitomycin C (sponsored by Dr. Abrams (Johns Hopkins)). I started in May and finished in November. In December it was stated that there was "No Evidence of Disease". Opposite the medical side of the coin, I must note that which is of extreme importance to me, and that which I consider as important as the medical treatment itself: My family built a support structure around me that is so strong that it was impossible for me to stumble. They gave (and give) me the strength to overcome the 'nasties' of chemo and the will to continue on. Because of the various side effects (different for each person) I had, such as nausea, tiredness, crumbling finger/toe nails, rashes, drug reactions, blisters, mouth sores, "just wanted to sit" attitude, etc., etc., It is most important that during all this you keep the mind active: I take Spanish classes; I read incessantly; I do cross-word puzzles (at least I try); I volunteered at the local Elementary School; I walk; My wife takes me for rides, etc., etc. Finally, the staff with which I deal at Johns Hopkins has been solicitous, kind, and caring. I have never been 'rushed' and all my questions were answered. I could not have asked for better care. So, in closing, never give in for a second; never 'count down' to something -- always count up; don't despair, enjoy the minutes that you have; don't look back at what has happened but be ready for the next step. Finally, seek inner strength (I find mine in prayer) and no matter where you find it, nurture it. Ollie's Dad.


Posted 12/28/2000 01:47 pm by Ollie's Dad
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