Update on Uncle Larry

Kate has checked in.

As of 4:29 East Coast time. Apparently there is a part of Uncle Larry’s pancreas that is “under question” and the surgeons have removed it. Surgery should last about 3 more hours.

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So far so good for Uncle Larry

Kate sends in this audio report.


As of 11:42 East Coast Time, Uncle Larry is in surgery. There is (very) good news. If it is cancer, it has not metastasized (spread). The surgeons are going ahead with the Whipple procedure right now.

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Uncle Larry rescheduled

Kate tells me that Uncle Larry was rescheduled to tomorrow. Check-in at 0700 East Coast time.

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Sponsor a Palmer on a Hunger Walk

Project Bread

Karen used the new multimedia Palmer Clan phone entry system, and left the following message:

Hi Don Patterson, this is Karen Palmer-Laine, just calling to do a message for our Palmer Clan.

Kelsey Laine and I are going to do a 20 mile walk for hunger Sunday in Boston with Kelsey’s youth group from church and if anyone would like to sponsor us they can leave a message [in the comments below]. (Make checks to Karen Palmer-Laine) We would greatly appreciate it.

We hope this will help take our minds off of everything else that is going on.

I hope everyone is well. We’ll talk to you soon. Bye.

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No, This is the boat we love

2005 NE2 picutres 008.jpg

The picture that I posted earlier was not the boat we love. Uncle Larry sent me the above picture. This is the boat we love.

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Update from Uncle Larry


We love the Tugboat Donald C (I think this is it)

Uncle Larry writes:”

0629 Thursday April 28, 2005

Hi Family,

Thank you all for your support. This makes me very humble to think of how much all of you care about me. I got home late last night and was to exhausted to write to my family. For planning purposes here is what is going to happen. I’m going back up to Boston today for pre-admission work.

I am probably going to live. I went to Boston thinking terminal cancer. I came home thinking I can live, that is a good day for me. This operation I am going to have is very serious but only 1% of the people having it die on the table. This doctor, Charles M. Vollmer, Jr. and his partner Dr. Mark P. Callery do 100 of these operations per year. The most in the region. They usually get patients sent in from regional hospital when the patient gets jaundice for no apparent reason. Pancreatic Cancer is usually found because of non-related tests that discover it. Pancreatic cancer has been called a “silent” disease because the tumor can grow for many years before it causes pressure, pain, or other signs of illness. Like me, everyone is saying that the fall from the Tug Donald C was a gift from God.

I can still not tell you that I have cancer. The two brushings on my “mass” came back inconclusive. Usually 10% will come back cancer. Another 10% no cancer. And the rest of this brushing test results are inconclusive. Mine was inconclusive. But it does not matter, the mass has to come out. It is causing a blockage of the common bile duct between the Gall Bladder, Pancreas, and the Ampulla of Vater. No need to waste time with a biopsy, the dam thing has to come out. The stint that was put in on Monday to open the Bile Duct is only temporary. It relieved my problem of jaundice only on a short term basis.

Dr. Charles M. Vollmer, Jr. will perform a “Whipple Procedure”(you can find it on the web)for Pancreatic Cancer. He believes my mass is cancer based on his experience only no definitive test. He thinks it is only 1 centimeter long and is on the outside of the duct. So it is very difficult to see on film or cat scan because of overlapping tissue and organs. He will use a scope before he starts the operation through my belly button to determine if it has spread. If it has spread, he will close me back up and we will not have the operation. But we don’t know based on pictures if it has spread to the surrounding areas or into the wall of the duct. Only surgery will tell us that. Once he gets it out the lab will determine how bad it is or maybe no cancer at all. But it has to come out. Along with the mass my Gall Bladder and 40% of the Pancreas will be removed. The total tissue coming out will be the size of your fist. I am an excellent candidate for surgery because of my past medical history and physical health. Thank God for all my work at the gym since 1998.

The operation will take place on Tuesday May 2, 2005. I report to the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center West Campus at 0600 for same day surgery clinic on the 5 floor of the west campus. I will be in the hospital 8 days on the fourth floor of the same building Uncle Mike was in. I will lose 15 lbs of weight. I will be recovering at home for 2 weeks after the hospital before I can work on getting my strength back. Total recovery will be in 3 months. Provided this thing has not spread I should be able to resume a normal work life, according to the Doctor. It is really small and I am hoping for no chemo after the operation. No determination on any of this can be made until the mass comes out and goes to the lab.

My best guess is that I could be back to work on Monday, July 4. It could be longer. You can look up this Whipple Procedure on the net. Everyone is required to keep a smile on their face and head up not down. We will use this simple thought to guide our actions “we look for adversity, in adversity we find opportunity”. This is boating season. My boat will be at Newport and I will recover on the boat entertaining you all.

Love Uncle Larry”

Whipple Procedure link

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Update on Uncle Larry 4:36 PM Wednesday (PST)

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Kate writes:

“My father is on his way home from Boston. On Tuesday he is going to Beth Israel hospital to have surgery to remove the mass and surrounding areas. The doctors still do not definitely know if the mass is cancer, but everything indicates that it is. The doctor said it does not matter if it is cancer or not it has to come out because it is causing a blockage. During surgery if the surgeons determine that the cancer is not contained they will not continue with the surgery. If surgery is successful my dad is expected to be in the hospital 7 days. After surgery the doctor will know if my dad needs chemotherapy. Thank you again for all your support. Keep up the prayers. ”

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Uncle Larry Update 7:40 PM 4/26/2005 PDT

Uncle Larry writes (from the East Coast):

2157 Hrs Tuesday April 26, 2005

Hi Everyone,

First I want to thank everyone for their prayers.

I checked out of Falmouth Hospital at noon today because they have done as much as they can for me and I will be at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at noon tomorrow.

I am sorry I have not been able to answer the phone for everyone that has called. We have been overwhelmed here and Kate is doing a good job of updating the web page. Thank the good lord for Don Patterson III and Sandy supporting our Family web page.

Uncle Mike will handle the direct communications with all of you and I will do my best to have Zellie and Kate keep him up to date. He has the most experience with my situation of any of our family and he had a long talk with me last night at Falmouth Hospital. His pointed questions were great because it got down to the known facts and not speculation. His experience with this particular hospital in Boston and cancer 2 years ago is a big help to me now. We are preparing for the worst case and hoping and praying for a better result. I don’t know if I have a tumor or cancer. I do know that I have a mass near my pancreas that needs to be sampled and removed as soon as possible.

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Uncle Larry Update 7:37 PM 4/26/2005

Kate writes:

“My father was released from Falmouth hospital today to home. Tomorrow he will go with my mother and my mother’s brother Jamie to Beth Israel hospital in Boston(where U. Mike was treated). He is schedule for an appointment and procedures at noon with Dr. Charles Vollmer. It is not known right now whether he will be staying in Boston or coming home. I thank everyone for their phone calls and optimism. Tomorrow when I get any news I will call Mike’s house. I will ask Mike to call Karen. Karen call Kathy and Kathy call Rita. I don’t know how to handle Nana and Grampa. I will leave that up to one of you and I am sure my dad will call them when he is able. Thank you everyone.”

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Uncle Larry in Hospital

Kate writes:

“My father checked into Falmouth hospital today at 5pm by order of his doctor. He is in room 320 bed B, phone 508-457-3820. He is scheduled to have gallstones removed tomorrow which is Monday, April 25. I will post an update as it becomes available. Happy
birthday Adam!”

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