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Dad Update from Mom: 20100616

Hi Everyone:
 
As most of you know, Bill was diagnosed with metastatic cancer to the liver at the end of 2008; this was a metastasis from his original ampullary cancer.  He received chemo for all of 2009 and intermittent scans showed that the original lesions were slowly reducing in size.  At the end of 2009, however, this changed and new lesions were also discovered.
 
Bill was placed on a new chemo treatment which was much harsher than the previous.  He not only continued to have problems with his food having no taste but he developed “pins and needles” (neuropathy problems) when eating or drinking anything cold; he even experienced this when handling anything cold in his hands.  In addition, his other side effects were very hard on him and he lost a lot of weight (down to 129 lbs), had no energy or strength and was generally very weakened and we feared for his overall health.  However, in March of 2010 the scans showed very little evidence of the original or subsequent lesions and no new cancer.  We were elated with the news and after much soul searching, decided that he would go off the chemo for a short while so he could regain some weight and strength.
 
Bill has been off the chemo since late March, 2010.  He has felt sooo much better.  Most of the taste of his food has returned and his neuropathy has decreased quite a bit.  He is eating non-stop and while he didn’t regain a LOT of weight (his current weight is 145 lbs) you can see a difference and he has regained a lot of his energy and strength.  He has been very happy these past few months and seems to do better daily, despite some persistent pain which we think is a result of the major surgery he had in early 2008 for the original cancer.  Being off the chemo however, has been hard too; you just can’t help worrying out what “might” be going on inside!  We were very apprehensive about returning to the doctor this month for the most recent scan results.
 
Happily, the results remain the same; there is very little evidence of the disease.  What they do see, they believe is the remains of the previously treated lesions.  The doctor said we “might” be able to consider this as a remission of the disease, but it would still require constant vigilance and oversight.
 
So, here we are today, almost 2 1/2 years since Bill’s initial diagnosis, very hopeful again.  Bill will remain off the chemo until the next scans which are scheduled for late August.  Hopefully he’ll gain more weight and strength during that time so that he is better able to handle the chemo if it becomes necessary to go back on it in the future.
 
We appreciate so much all of your concern, thoughts and prayers for us during these difficult years.  We hope that you will continue to keep us in your prayers. 
 
I apologize for taking this method of updating you because I know many of you are STILL waiting for an individual response since my last update, but it’s just been a really tough year for both of us.  Since my surgery in January, my health has just been up and down with a myriad of complaints that no one seems to know what to do with.   I have had absolutely no energy and have been very weak with walking difficulties; my physical therapy on my arms had to stop because I was unable to continue them so consequently, I still have very little use of them.  I spend very little time on the computer, and then it is mostly to just read to keep up with what is going on with most of you. 
 
Thankfully, during my worst days, Bill was feeling well enough to take care of me.  I really don’t know what we would have done otherwise.  I have recently been feeling a lot better and seem to be improving.  I am walking better and have a little more energy.  I am seeing some new doctors and am hopeful for a full recovery eventually.  In the meantime though, please understand that it’s not that I don’t care; I just have to conserve what energy I have to keep up with what has to be done here.  So my response to any emails will not likely improve soon!
 
Again, thank you all.  You’ve been great and so supportive.  We are so happy to share this good news with you all!!
 
Love,
 
Betty and Bill
Mom & Dad

Mom & Dad

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