A day of sadness becomes a yearly celebration of joy!!!

Seven years ago today, May 8, 2015, The Outdoors Guy was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The day was like a nightmare we feared would not end well.
I noticed his yellow skin early that morning and asked, “What is going on with you?” Even the whites of his eyes were yellow.
I told him he needed to go to the doctor NOW!! He left for Mayo Clinic in Onalaska shortly thereafter. Within 45 minutes, he called, “Can you be ready for me to pick you up in a few minutes? I have to go to the main clinic for a CT scan.”
We were both quiet on the drive. Although, like me, I knew his brain was swirling with questions and what news we would receive.
The scan was fairly quick. Then his doctor called to give us his diagnosis: pancreatic cancer. Our world as we knew it was crashing down around us.
Back home, we tried talking through his possible options, called our family and then spend a sleepless night with lots of tears.
We had recently celebrated our 43rd wedding anniversary. Would we see No. 44… together?
Monday finally came. He was scheduled for an ERCP (Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography) to diagnose if the tumor was cancerous. It was determined the medium-sized tumor was in the pancreas.
Mid-May we met with doctors at Mayo Clinic-Rochester. They explained pancreatic cancer patients are now treated with chemo first to shrink the tumor. Then surgery follows. Dr, Chari said the success rate has been very good. He said what The Outdoors Guy had going for him was his positive outlook, his otherwise good health, being active and having a strong faith.
Doctors now begin with the strongest dose of chemo, shrink the tumor to a more manageable size for surgical removal, and then do another round of chemo. The success rate has been very good.
I told The Outdoors Guy on the way home that day, "This is not going to be a sprint. It’s going to be a marathon.”
On May 20, 2015, we met with Bob’s surgeon, Dr. Mark Truty in Rochester for the first time. He did an amazing job explaining step by step what they would be doing to treat Bob and why.
His chemo treatments began in June 2015 after his bilirubin was down. It went well for the most part.
If you stayed informed through his chronology on my blog, you may recall he was diagnosed May 8, 2015, and beginning June 15, he endured 37 rounds of chemo, 25 radiation treatments and major surgery. He also weathered many ups and downs along the way.
In 2015, our family and The Chemo King wondered if he would be here to celebrate another Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, birthday or wedding anniversary.
Seven years later, he is among only 2% of the population to have survived more than two years with a pancreatic cancer diagnosis.
And, we have celebrated many more of the above special occasions, including the marriage of our youngest, Evan, to Annie in 2019 and our 50th wedding anniversary April 10th of this year.
We have also met our youngest grandchild, Evan’s Ady and love getting to know her better every day. We’ve watched Jon and Sara’s two sons, Jackson and Bryson, grow into fine young men! We have much to be thankful for and much to look forward to!!!
Happy Anniversary, Ted!!! (short for Teddy Bear!!! - my nickname for Bob!)


The Doxology  
Thomas Ken