Today marks 4.5 years since The Outdoors Guy was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on May 8, 2015.
Against enormous odds, not only has Bob survived, he has thrived, making the most of the precious time God has granted him on this earth. He continues to enjoy life to the fullest each and every day.
We are thankful to those of you who have remembered him in your prayers. Also through our readers, we know of others enduring the trials of cancer or other illnesses and we pray for them as well.
On May 5, 2020, The Outdoors Guy will reach a critical stage in his recovery.
Patients who undergo a successful Whipple procedure may have a 5-year survival rate of up to 25%.
However, if you followed Kathy’s Korner during Bob’s ordeal, you know the Whipple procedure, attempted on Jan. 22, 2016, at Mayo Clinic-Rochester, was unsuccessful.
When Bob’s surgeon, Dr. Mark Truty, (pictured) began the procedure, he encountered something he had never seen before. Bob’s entire abdominal cavity was covered with scar tissue from colon surgery he had in 1989. Dr. Truty said scar tissue doesn’t show up on CT scans or laproscopy.
He told us the scar from that surgery was not very large. So, he was shocked to see scar tissue covering The Outdoors Guy's abdominal cavity. It had adhered to just about everything.
He told us, "When I touched the scar tissue, it was falling apart like wet tissue paper, and trying to work through the scar tissue was causing bleeding."
He said just by removing a portion of the scar tissue from the bowel, it caused enough bleeding that he had to resect the bowel.
Dr. Truty was unable to proceed with removing the tumor through the Whipple procedure.
"I felt if I attempted to continue with the procedure, I would lose him," Dr. Truty remarked.
Yes, our family was extremely disappointed the surgery couldn’t be completed as planned. Later though, we learned of Dr. Truty's world famous reputation and how we were so thankful Mr. Outdoors had the best of the best, one who recognized the monumental risk of continuing with the surgery and wasn't willing to take it.
At that time, we still received some good news from Dr. Truty. He believed, in all likelihood, the tumor was dead or nearly dead.
Dr. Truty told us, "I could not feel the tumor, only the impression of where it had been."
Since then, The Outdoors Guy has been following a regimented schedule of CT scans, lab work and tumor marker tests. At first, testing was done every three months. Now it is done every six months.
Up to this point, there has been no sign the tumor has returned and his tumor marker number continues to remain very low.
He is due for testing again in January and then again May... yes, the critical 5-year mark. We haven’t forgotten the 25% survival rate is only for those who have had a successful Whipple procedure.
According to Mayo’s website, “About 50,000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year in the U.S. Historically, only about 7 percent of pancreatic cancer patients have lived at least five years after diagnosis.”
Needless to say, The Outdoors Guy has far-exceeded expectations!!!
If, through more testing in May, it is discover the tumor has returned, Bob could receive a different chemo treatment than he previously had. Dr. Truty also suggested 4.5 years ago that there may be additional options down the road, if necessary.
“Advances such as the CA 19-9 test, and improved chemotherapy, radiation and surgical techniques are improving survival odds for many patients,” Dr. Truty said.
I will update you with the results of The Outdoors Guy’s May 2020 testing. And again, thank you for keeping him in your prayers!!!
In the meantime, he still has more backwoods to explore, more fishing, hunting and golfing to do, and way more time to spend with the kids and grandkids!!!!
Happy anniversary, Bobby. We're with you every step of the way!!!
"Jesus replied, 'What is impossible with man is possible with God.'” Luke 18:27