Father's Day 2012, Chris woke up with a stomach ache, the pain increasing throughout the day. He later found himself in the emergency room of St. Vincent Hospital. Chris and his wife, Jeanne, suspected Chris's pancreas was to blame for the pain, as his father had also had pancreatitis that lead to a whipple procedure. The doctors ruled it as a gall bladder attack and suggested it be removed. However, his surgeon suggested that Chris could either postpone the surgery or modified his diet, and he may never have an attack again. Chris modified his diet and was pain free for about 8 months.
In 2013, Chris began experiencing an achy pain that gradually became painful in his back. Memorial Day weekend, Chris passed out and days later, his gall bladder surgery was scheduled and a CT scan was ordered...the results were shocking. There was a large mass on his pancreas. Because of the fact that the mass was wrapped around the mesentery artery, the tumor could not be surgically removed. The only treatment was very aggressive chemotherapy that began within two weeks of the diagnosis.
Not only did the aggressive chemotherapy have no affect on the pancreatic tumor, but new cancer spots were also found on his spine, which lead to the use of one of the leading pancreatic cancer drugs. The drug seemed to be successful in the beginning; the tumor was shrinking and it seemed to be preventing new spots on his spine. We were heading in the right direction. However, it soon became apparent that the cancer drug was compromising Chris's lungs and would no longer be used in treatment. When the cancer appeared in the form of small spots on his liver, all chemotherapy came to a halting stop. Nothing seemed to be working for Chris and he no longer qualified for clinical trials.
Through it all, Chris has always maintained an uplifting spirit and positive attitude because that is the essence of who Chris is. He has never asked... Why me? But has always said, "Why not me? I'm no different, then anyone else."
June 2014, according to his Hospice nurse, Chris was at the "end of life" stage. Unfortunately, on June 14, 2014, Chris slipped into a coma and passed away later that evening. He was surrounded by his family.
Pancreatic Cancer is the 4th largest killer of all cancer killers and the least funded of the top 10 cancers. It is also the only cancer in the top 10 killer with a single digit survival rate after 5 years.
Please help in the fight to find a cure and support pancreatic cancer research with a donation.
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