If there is a "Goliath" in front of you, then there must be a "DAVID" inside of you.
Wage Hope to end pancreatic cancer
Update: Today is a day in May, 2018. We are sad to say, that after two and half years of fighting tooth and nail and as bravely as anyone could have, David, 61, was escorted by his Saviour to heaven this morning carried by a chariot and angels. He was surrounded by his loving family and wasn’t in pain. Their Priest and dear friend, Father John, gave David his final sacrament.
While we are incredibly blessed to have had this extraordinary human being in our lives as long as we did, and while he gave more, lived more and mentored more than most people twice his age, we are not giving up hope of finding a cure for the Pancreatic Cancer that took his life. We simply HAVE to do better.
In November of 2015,our dynamic, healthy, and robust "King David", was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He and his wife, Cindy, were crushed. Cindy is a thirty-five year Lupus survivor. Cindy endured chemotherapy for systemic Lupus in 1982-1986. After a brief remission, it returned and Cindy had to take chemo again from 1991-1993, with dialysis being added in '91 and '92. They had plenty of experience dealing with health behemoths. So with their usual super-human resilience, they whipped out their boxing gloves, laced them up, and took on this "Goliath' the only way they knew how. One day at a time.
Preferring to not focus on the grim "survival rates," they instead listened to their options, and chose the best way to deal with this new reality. In December of 2015, David successfully underwent the Whipple procedure to remove the mass from the opening of his pancreas. After chemotherapy that lasted from about January to May 2016, David was tumor free.
In November of 2016, David celebrated his 60th birthday in San Antonio, surrounded by his support team. The elation was short lived. After a rough December 2016, a small tumor was discovered in the same area shortly after his 60th party. The doctors felt it was a remnant from the original one. It was a perfectly placed and sized little bugger that would wreak havoc for months to come. After Christmas, in trying to prep David for the strong chemo he would need, major complications began after a tube was inserted in his liver to drain out fluid. The mass was causing the bile to back up, causing jaundice and the tumor was inoperable. The tube site would clog, or the insertion site became infected, and one challenge followed another, landing David in the hospital for most of January. Several family members came to see David and Cindy at the urging of the staff. "It didn't look good." In late January, the doctors told Cindy to arrange for hospice. Talk about losing it! This was absolutely NOT the news anyone wanted. Minutes later, David called everyone, and said, "Hey you guys! What the hell? I'm not going anywhere! These doctors better come up with something else!" David listened to the doctors' prognosis' like the champ that he is, and simply refused to accept what the doctors were telling them. After listening, he would ask point blank, "What else you got?!" and, "what else can we do?" The doctors would barely reply with a "Well....we could....." and David said, 'Let's do it." Chemo couldn't begin until the infection was under control. David had to take his first round of chemo while still in the hospital. He was able to return home a few days later. Three days after that first round of chemo, David went into septic shock due to infection and dehydration that landed him a ride in the ambulance headed to Methodist twenty minutes away. But his condition was so critical, they took him instead to the hospital two minutes away from their residence, where he'd remain in ICU for seven days. That ordeal is another story. Suffice to say his time in the ICU was touch and go as David willed himself to LIVE. There were visits from their priest, visits from their sisters, family members, rosaries, and prayers that had never been uttered. But the real hero? David. David's will is palpable. It emanates from him. As he lay in that ICU bed, enduring the pills, the daily shots to his hips to keep clots from forming in his legs, the bags of blood pressure raising fluids, David knew he would get out alive. He just knew it. And he did.
The unbelievable care from the ICU doctors and nurses at the Nix Hospital in San Antonio, we are forever grateful to all of you and whatever they pay you isn't enough!!!!! In early February 2017, sometime after his ICU release and right after super Bowl Sunday, David began the regular grueling schedule of the chemo, but now additional days were added for JUST hydrating fluids. He was behind the eight ball as he'd lost an extraordinary amount of weight in January, and the ICU, and chemo didn't help. One night in June, towards the end of the treatment, David was having a nice dinner with his two high school BFs when his oncologist called to tell him, "Your tumor is a wisp." The cancer marker had tumbled from a high in the 800's to 60-something.. And that’s where they are. He is simply READY TO LIVE. David is doing his part. Not only is he caring for himself, he has become an inspiration to other people who are suffering. During what is surely the biggest challenge of his life, David has found even more purpose and meaning in the face of this adversity. When he had to take chemo, he turned the infusion room into a party when Cindy, and his very dear friend and co-worker, Kimberly, would bring sandwiches, donuts and Kimberly's home made cookies to the patients and staff. We believe David will be in the 5% because we have to. NO ONE FIGHTS ALONE, people, and we need your assistance. Please join our team for PURPLE STRIDE, or help us by making a donation. Pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate of all major cancers, at just 9%. This deadly disease has stolen our best and our brightest, but it can’t take away our determination. I’ve stepped up to Wage Hope at PurpleStride, the walk to end pancreatic cancer.Will you help me rewrite the future of this disease by making a donation today? Every dollar that you give ensures that the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network can continue working to improve outcomes for pancreatic cancer patients and their families. By donating today, you are supporting vital efforts to double pancreatic cancer survival by 2020. Purple ribbons aren’t enough. Please join me in the fight today. In Health and Healing, King DAVID'S COURT