Earlier in the weekend, Uncle Larry sent this update:
June 3, 2005
Today Zellie, Larry E., Jamie and I met with Oncologist Dr. Michael Goldstein and Surgeon Dr. Charles Vollmer in Boston. The result of the meeting was very encouraging and positive. The pathology report from my May 4, 2005 Whipple Operation showed a complete surgical removal of the Pancreatic Cancer tumor. The margins were clean and 10 Lymph Nodes sampled showed no sign of the cancer spreading. The staging was between stage 2 or stage 3, most likely stage 2A. However, with Pancreatic Cancer you can never be sure that one cell did not escape. In my case, the carcinoma invaded the wall of the duodenum and the ampullary area, which is a risk factor. Therefore, Dr. Goldstein and Dr. Vollmer have recommended prophylaxis against recurrence. I will undergo 4.5 to 6 weeks of mild oral chemotherapy and abdominal radiation. I was given a choice of doing this at the hospitals in Hyannis, Boston, or Fall River. I picked St. Anne’s Hospital in Fall River because it was half way to the boats in Newport. This was an easy decision. The chemotherapy will sensitize the area to radiation. The oral chemotherapeutic will be 5-FU (capecitebine). This means that I will take two pills twice a day concomitant with abdominal radiation 5 days a week for 4.5 to 6 weeks. I will not lose my hair! This therapy is recommended to prevent future recurrence of the pancreatic cancer. Dr. Vollmer (Surgeon) states that I am ready for full physical rehabilitation with no restrictions. Dr. Vollmer further stated that he expects a full recovery from the May 4th operation within 90 days. Dr. Goldstein anticipates a full return to active work upon completion of the radiation therapy.
Zellie and I thank you all for your unselfish love, help, comfort and kindness. Be assured that we will always be here for you as you have been here for us. Thank you. We love all of you.
Love, Uncle Larry