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Pancreas Cancer Web


MARK BURKE


Our journey into this strange new world began in Sept. 2004. Mark started having stomach pains one night after dinner. It went on for a few days and we finally convinced him to go to the hospital. His doctor had him admitted and they were sure it was Pancreatitis. After a week in the hospital on IV fluids and three weeks at home on 'liguid diet' Things just didn't get better. next thing we know he is turning yellow. Our best friend just happened to be a nurse at the cancer center where we live.

Well it took a couple of more procedures and a trip to another hospital but in Novemeber of 04 we were told he had Pancreatic cancer. Our lives were forever changed that day.

Mark's tumor was abutting the main vein so they had to try to shrink it in order to have the whipple. He started 5FU and had radiation. In April of 05 he had the whipple operation.The tumor was gone and he had clear margins and no node involment. He did well untill May. He started feeling poorly and they discovered he had a liver abcess from the whipple. Three months of antibiotics followed.Mark also started on 5FU as 'insurance'. He went back to work full time in July.05. Finished his chemo in December 05 and stayed on just Tarceva as a maintainenece drug.He felt great and then in August 06 his CA19-9 started to rise. sure enough he had recurrence. We were devastated but refused to give up. Mark had two liver mets and tumor on his Celiac Artery which caused him a great deal of pain.

Mark had two procedures done . One was a Radio frequentcey Ablation to the two mets on his liver(RFA), and the other was a Celiac nerve block to numb the pain from the tumor.

As soon as Mark recovered from those procedure we started him on Gemza/Tarceva. he did not tolerate the Gemzar well so after a few months we went on Xeloda/Tarceva.Clean scans till August 07. One of the two liver mets that he had the RFA on started to grow. We spent the next 6 weeks meeting with doctors who also met with the tumor board to see what could be done. They felt that because Mark had no new spread that he might be a candidate for liver resection. After all was said and done they decided not to do it. His body was just too run done and they felt he would not recover well from yet another major operation.

Even though we were dissapointed we could understand this decision. So here we are now and Mark has begun the FOLFOX protocol. As of this date he has had three weeks and already his doctor can see a change in the tumor and Mark feels less pain from it.

We continue to be postive and live for today. Mark was Diagnosed when he was 48. We have been together for 11 years. This is my second marriage and Marks first. Mark no longer works but was an electrician. He is also a very talented self taught musician and song writter and plays out locally to this day. Cancer may have changed our life but it hasn't stopped us from living.

Mark you are my hero and you have taught me so much. I am honored to take this journey with you. As you always tell me, 'This cancer won't take me easy'. I will go out kicking and screaming'. I love your spirit and even though it hasn't been an easy journey it's been one hell of a ride darlin, and there's no one I'd rather go there with.

A website was created for Mark when a local benifit was done for him. Feel free to visit it. http://mysite.verizon.net/vzeopouo/markburke/index.html


Posted 09/07/2007 09:30 am by Kim(Vt)
E-mail Address: kburke@biwvt.com

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