At the ER, they admitted him and started running tests to see what could be going on with the skewed bloodwork. An endoscope procedure caused pancreatitis and their diagnosis was gallstones. Lynn was in and out of the hospital several times before they removed his gallbladder a few days later. After his gallbladder was removed, he was still having stomach pains and jaundice. They inserted a stent as well as a drainage tube. After his original symptoms got so severe that he could not eat or drink, doctors ran additional tests. On May 27th Lynn was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer.
The doctors in Pensacola were not in a hurry to move to the next steps and scheduled a needle biopsy a couple days after the diagnosis. The day after the diagnosis their daughter Courtney consulted with her gastroenterologist and it was suggested to move Lynn immediately from Florida and to Michigan for the best treatment options.
Shirley immediately checked Lynn out of the hospital, against the doctor’s wishes, and was on the road to Michigan within 2 hours. She drove 19 hours straight, stopping every few hours so Lynn could throw up, still having drainage tubes. His stomach was so upset, he couldn't keep anything down, not even his medicine. They arrived in Michigan on May 29th where Courtney’s doctor met them in the ER with over 150 pages of Lynn’s Florida medical records. The head transplant surgeon at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak was assigned to Lynn’s case and within 14 hours of admission he had an accurate diagnosis of Duodenal Adenocarcinoma (cancer in the duodenum), a very rare cancer. The 8 hour Whipple surgery was performed on June 2, 2014. The surgeon was able to remove the mass in his duodenum, one that he said most surgeons would not touch. He wanted to “give him the best chance possible”. During the Whipple Procedure they also removed and reattached sections of his stomach, pancreas and duodenum.
Lynn was in the hospital for 2 weeks following the surgery and was then on TPN (total parental nutrition) for 2 months following the surgery. The once 200 lb man dropped down to 150 lbs during this process. Lynn was finally able to start his first treatment of chemotherapy- Gemzar at the beginning of August. They told him that he had to maintain his 150 lb weight to continue to receive treatment. With the first dose of chemo, he felt fatigued but could still eat. On the second round of chemo 2 weeks later, it knocked him for a loop. He couldn't keep anything down. He started losing more weight. He became too light- at 140 lbs to receive his next round of chemo because it could kill his weak body. He skipped two weeks.
In the meantime they decided to start radiation while waiting for weight gain. On September 29th he had an MRI to be positioned for radiation. The results came back on October 2nd that the cancer had spread to his liver. Lynn’s prognosis turned to incurable- with a new treatment option to administer aggressive chemotherapy in hopes of keeping the cancer from spreading- and using maintenance chemotherapy for the rest of his life. The new aggressive chemo was administered on October 21st. Folifox was a chemo administered via a 4 hour drip in the office along with a take-home pump used to administer chemo over the next 72 hours. Lynn experienced extreme fatigue, nausea, and vomiting over the next 9 days- so much that Shirley had to drive him to the hospital daily for fluids. Justin had to help him to the car because he was so weak.
Lynn was admitted to the hospital on October 30th during his oncology appointment. His doctor said that the chemo should not make him that sick and that something was wrong. On November 2nd the CT results came back and confirmed the worst- the cancer had spread to his liver, kidneys, bladder, and lungs. A mass had returned to the duodenum- causing a blockage and the symptoms Lynn was experiencing. He underwent his last surgery on November 5th to insert biliary drain tube to give him relief. He was given a possibility of 2 months to live but because of the aggressiveness of the cancer doctors could not be certain of the timeframe. The doctors suggested Hospice Care to make him most comfortable during his remaining time.During this time Shirley, Courtney, and Justin rotated nights at the hospital with Lynn so that he would never be alone and to be there in case he needed anything. Justin was never far away from him whenever Lynn needed to go somewhere or be moved in some way. Justin even snuck Lynn’s dog, Chyna, in to see him.
The day we left to go up there, he was talking to us and knew who we were We got up there in time to say our goodbyes before his medicine kept him in a comatose state to keep the pain away. On November 15th Lynn was moved to Justin and Courtney’s home with Hospice care. While we were there, we were able to visit and help out while we could. Courtney administered all of his medicine round the clock to keep him comfortable. He passed away peacefully on November 18th- 9 months after the nightmare had begun. While we are thankful he is no longer in pain, he suffered for over 8 months. I'm thankful he got to see his son and his daughter both get married to his son-in-law and myself.
…Shirley asked us (myself and their son, my husband), to make the trip up there. His son, Derrick and I, had to stay in FL due to our jobs. We offered to help keep an eye on their house and help keep it looking lived in. Lynn’s best friend, Pat, helped by making some repairs to the pool and other equipment around the home due to the floods. He helped with the pool, the irrigation system, and several other things.
Throughout this whole ordeal, he went on short term disability, then in the transition of going to long term disability, his job terminated him from his position, costing him his health insurance. In the early stages of his misdiagnosis in Florida (May), there was a freak flooding in the area. Over $80k worth of damage occurred to their property- fencing destroyed, car totaled, power tools and yard equipment, a riding lawn mower, landscaping, trees and other plants planted by hand, their pool pump was destroyed, as was carpet and wood flooring inside the home. They left for Michigan with their home and property in ruins. In August- after Lynn’s first round of chemo their new area also had a freak flood, which flooded their basement in their rental home.
They went with Medicare for their insurance once his employer's insurance was canceled. This cost them more money on visits, prescriptions, and deductibles. All of their medicine went up in price, but the addition of more medicine due to the chemotherapy hurt too.
…They were paying for 2 homes, 2 utility bills, trying to fix their home in FL from MI. They were forced to take out a loan to help repair the home.
Due to the misdiagnosis in FL, he lost his job, his insurance, and eventually his life.
Through this all, Shirley has been there at his side. She cooked or got anything and everything that sounded good to him. The kids were trying to get him every trick in the book to gain weight. All of this has absolutely devastated the family, and finding out he didn't have life insurance, was just one more instance of terrible news this family has had to receive. This Go Fund Me is to help Shirley with his medical expenses, his funeral costs, and also getting her back on her feet after two floods and the loss of her husband of 38 years. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
- Karin & Ken Reynolds
- Bonnie & Patrick Miller
- Tom Bommarito
- Tim and Evie Thoner
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