Katherine’s next cancer story began in 2020.
Katherine visited her doctor in March of 2020 after becoming jaundice. An ultrasound showed a constricted bile duct that required surgery to install a stint. When they completed the CT scan and MRI after that procedure, cancer was discovered on her pancreas. It was stage 1 at that time.
She was scheduled for an intensive Whipple surgery to take out part of her pancreas, her gallbladder, and to do a bowel resection. The procedure was scheduled for April 2, 2020. Due to COVID, this procedure was postponed for four months.
Stage 1 jumped to Stage 4 within those four months. During the COVID delay, the cancer had spread to her colon and they could only complete a portion of the procedure. The spread was not discovered until she was already mid-surgery. They were able to remove the gallbladder and she needed to recover from that surgery first before resuming chemo. Chemo was the only option to help slow the spread.
After about three months of weekly chemo treatments and blood tests, in the last week of December, Katherine’s blood work revealed that the cancer was terrorizing her body and she could no longer undergo chemo. She was hospitalized on January 5, 2021.
Katherine wanted nothing more than to be at her home in the mountains. After fifteen days in the hospital, 12 of those in ICU, prayers were answered with the diligent work of nurses and doctors who stabilized her systems, allowing her to return home. She was released into in-home palliative/hospice care on January 20, 2021.
She is now under the care of her primary care doctor and the wonderful people at Mt. Evans Hospice, with Dan as her in-home nurse. This suits his loving heart well, though round-the-clock care is not easy. Dan's daughter Rebecca and husband Shawn have been coming over regularly to assist. Her sons Nicholas and Christopher have been able to visit with Katherine often and keep in touch with her over the phone.
Overall, Katherine is comfortable and in good spirits. She is getting lots of attention from Dan, family members, and the home health caregivers. She does sleep a lot most days and is drinking very little. She is receiving nutrition through her chemo port once a day. She is on medications for pain management and nausea.
Extended family and friends have continued to check-in, sharing much needed prayers and love. So many have asked about a Go Fund Me page to assist with the expenses that will be coming due for her treatments, hospital visits, and in-home care. We are humbled by these inquiries and do indeed appreciate any support you can provide to Dan and Katherine during this very difficult chapter.
Please continue to pray.