Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Update

Well, since the last posting, I have had 2 CT's showing no signs of issues (cancer). So now, instead of doing CT's every 3 months, we are discontinuing them and doing blood draws every 3 months watching for cancer markers.

It is so hard to go from "you're going to probably die" to the word CURED. Still trying to get my head around the reversal, and recognizing the Lords hand, the support from so, so, so many, and my wonderful bride that held my hand at every juncture in this journey.

You also know that you're on a good path when the port that was implanted in your chest has been removed (on Nov. 21st). It was a happy Thanks just before Thanksgiving. We are giving thanks in so many ways that I am having a hard time counting them.

I was asked, many times, what my "bucket list" was. I thought about this and melted it down to the fact that I wanted my grandchildren to remember me so I needed to stay for that and to my pleasure at this writing announce that our family is expecting 2 more of those choice spirits next year! The bestest!

Also I have noted that the Lord looked at taking me, and noting that I am a bit of a handful, and that Jeanie has me better trained, decided to leave me here to continue giving ya'll a bit of heartburn. I am the most blessed guy you know and praise our Father in Heaven for granting me this extended stay.

Hug all those you can, and squeeze extra hard.

May this Christmas season bring you all of the blessings the Lord has in store for us, even trials that strengthen our ties to Him. Here's a fantastic Christmas video for your viewing pleasure.

Our Love,
Bruce and Jeanie

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

11 Months

Hi Friends and Family, 

Pasted below is an email my Dad sent to our family a couple days ago. It's been a long, crazy, strenuous 11 months, but we're so very grateful for all the good news we've received lately - and for all the hope we have for a great future together. 

Here's a picture of the old guy. He's been walking every morning to help build up his endurance and strength. (Nice red pants, Dad.) ;)

Love to all, 




Yup, it has been 11 months to the day, 6-2, since I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and I am writing you all to tell you that I am still getting the very best of care from doctors, as well family.

Last Friday I did an extensive blood work up. The following morning, Dr Weaver called with the results and until I get the printout suffice it to say he wanted us to hear the good news that all my levels are in great shape!

Then yesterday, Monday the 2nd (anniversary 11 months ago) I went for a CT scan, and at 5:36 Dr Mandell called to say that she had good news - "basically there is nothing bad." The tiny things in the lungs that were a concern remain the same and we feel it is normal old scar tissue and unrelated to the cancer!!!!! The tumor markers had been at 17.75 but were down to 12.9 - all good trending and safe levels. So it seems that doctors like to give good news and I am blessed to have them in my life.

I will be going to Dr. Hague on the 12th for a eye to eye evaluation from him regarding the CT, and I doubt that there is anything different he will tell us, but we are looking forward to his prognosis.

As always, I am the most blessed guy you all know and am blessed to have you all in my life.

So looking forward to more contact with all of you soon!

All my love,



Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Great News!

The following post was written by my dear sweet Mom:

We were really looking forward to last Wednesday because it was going to be Bruce's last day of radiation but, after his treatment on Tuesday we met with his doctor who was quite surprised at how poorly he looked and felt. As it turns out, his blood pressure was very low and he was dehydrated, among other things. Fortunately, he has a port so they were able to hook him up and give him two liters of fluid which made him feel better but, because he was in a weakened state the doctor felt like there may be something wrong with his liver so she ordered a ct scan and blood workup. We sat on pins and needles waiting for the results (which we would find out the following Monday) and wondering with fearful anticipation.

It's hard to describe the relief we felt when Dr. Mandell told us that his ct scan was good and his labs looked great. It has been a long, long road (nine months) to get to this point. Surgery-done! Chemotherapy-done! Radiation-done! The doctors will forevermore need to keep an eye on Bruce but for now, get some strength back and GAIN SOME WEIGHT PLEASE!

Everyone has been so supportive and caring. We can't imagine going through something as intense as this without the love of family and friends. Our children have been an amazing source of strength to us. They have gone above and beyond so, we want to publicly express our appreciation and say, 'WE LOVE YOU SO MUCH!' Also, we know that we have received the blessing of 'life' from our Heavenly Father. It would be an understatement to say that we have been incredibly stirred to our core by this blessing and in all humility publicly thank Him.

To the staff, thank you for always greeting me with warmth!

It's a tradition to ring the bell when you finish your radiation treatments.
Ring a ding!

Thank you Dr. Mandell! We think the world of you!
This wonderful group of people helped make my radiation experience the best that it could be!

With love and thanks to all, Bruce and Jeanie

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Pink and Purses

Dr. Sue A. Mandell, Medical Director Radiation Oncologist, is Dads new doctor. My parents "absolutely love her!" They feel she is knowledgeable but knows how to explain things in layman's terms. Also, she is happy to answer all of my Dads questions. Dr . Mandell (or like my Dad likes to call her Mandella) had him pegged the first visit. She said "You are a Type A personality that has a lot of questions, and I'm willing to answer them all."

Dad will have 28 total radiation treatments, 3 down, 25 to go. In addition to that he will have chemo pumped into his chest 24/7 hence the black shoulder strap chemo bag which holds the machine.
My Mom really liked this picture of my Dad with his pink shirt and purse. Do with that what you will.

On a personal note - I read this essay in the NYT this last week, about a young man having cancer and his thoughts on how long he has left. I know a lot of us have family and friends who have dealt with similar feelings and situations.

We love you all.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

We received great news today!

1st of all--GOOD NEWS-- I GET TO GO TO THE NEXT LEVEL OF TREATMENT AND GET RADIATION/CHEMO!!!! The meeting with Dr Haque was very good and encouraging--there seems to be no advanced lymph's, nodules or juvenile (my words) tumors in the CT scan comparatives--Great News! There were some nodules that showed up on the scan, but they existed prior, and in the words of the Radiation Dr. "if we scanned my lungs I have some--everyone does"--so that is more good news--Also, the existing nodules are really small--largest is 3 mm. We walked down the hall to the Radiation Clinic and met Dr. Sue Mandell--(I call her Mandella) she is a straight shooter and both of us really liked her-- She, after the dust settled, was very very encouraged with my current health, weight (I am currently up to 160 lbs from a low of 148), and elements of treatment so far--she confirmed that the CT scan looked good and advised us that the treatment regime is going to be 5 and 1/2 weeks and not 8 weeks--(made my day) but this still will not be a walk in the park-- They are going to deliver 50.4 grey at a rate of 1.8 grey per day--that info was for Jordan-- I will start as soon as the 27th or as late as the 3rd-- The Doc is working up a mapping and virtual configuration to induce the radiation. She is also going to try to do a delivery system called I.M.R.T.--Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy--a more precise delivery (a step in the direction of proton) which would lessen the chance of scaring and other adverse side affects/collateral damage...so we like that idea too. She was frank about the 50/50 chance that I will be diabetic after these treatments----However, 50/50 odds have served me well to this point-- At the end of the 5 1/2 weeks we repeat the CT and blood to check the cancer markers and see if there are any issues--if none then I go into a monitor schedule of every 3 months CT and blood ---this is as good of news as we could ever ask for --even the fact that I "GET TO GO THRU RAD/CHEMO" On a parting note with Dr. H--I confirmed that we are still going for "cure" --and he said yes very distinctly CURE!!! I also asked him how many pancreatic patients he was now treating and he said 5-6 and I asked how I compared---he said that all the others were metastasized and on that note we all realized just how UNBELIEVABLY BLESSED I HAVE BEEN-- So--bottom line--I can take anything for 5 1/2 weeks--with prayer and love from ya'll-- I can't thank you all adequately enough for the love that Jeanie and I have felt-- All my love, Bruce (Pops)
*Picture from Christmas with Jamie and Jordan who were able to visit!*