Monday, November 5, 2007

The Story

Hi Everyone-

My family and I started this blog because we realize that many people will want updates on our dad.

So here's the background. About a week ago, October 28th, my Dad started to show a little jaundice. (Yellowing of skin and eyes). On Tuesday, his doctor ran some blood tests, which showed elevated liver functions. We were hoping it was a virus. On Wednesday (Halloween) he had a CAT scan, and that evening we found out that the test showed a mass in his pancreas that was blocking the bile ducts, and causing the jaundice.

The radiologists reviewing the cat scan believed that the mass was consistent with Pancreatic Cancer. On Friday, the doctor at St. Marks did an endoscopic ultrasound, and basically confirmed our suspicions.

The good news: my brother-in-law is an expert in pancreatic cancers, and he reviewed my dad's tests and he believes it is operable. Now, 80 percent of people who present with Pancreatic Cancer are usually past the point where surgery could help. So it looks like my Dad is in that 20 percent where there is hope that surgery could get the cancer out.

Since the mass is so close to a big vein, the surgeon may opt for 10 weeks of chemotherapy (5 weeks on, 4 weeks recovery) before the surgery, in hopes that the mass will shrink away from the vein. We see the surgeon tomorrow, and after that we will have a better idea of our game plan.

But the important thing is: we have hope. And a game plan. And faith. Lots of faith.

We are so grateful for the overwhelming support and love of so many family members, neighbors, friends, ward members. We have come to the conclusion that for a family that can't seem to shut up, we are all at a loss for words when it comes to expressing our thanks.

We will keep you updated. Feel free to pass the blog along to people who might be interested.

Much Love,
the Ashton Clot


cristie said...

sweet girls...this is such a good idea and a wonderful way to keep us all in touch. thanks for the update and i'll pass this along. xox are an amazing credit to wonderful parents. :)

Kathleen Gardner said...

Thanks to Cristie for sending your news to me. I'm so sorry that you have to go through this - but your amazing family will make miracles happen - along with our prayers and the Lord's blessings.

Know that I love and think of you all often.


Kathy Gardner

jane said...

Dear Ashtons --

What a great idea to have this blog so we can all keep updated and dear Joan won't have to wear a phone on her ear for the next few weeks!

We are on our knees...and have absolute faith that all will be well and dear Dr. Dennis will be with us for many years to come.

We love you all ... what an awesome family you are.

Love, Jane & Tom

Jo said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. What a blessing the gospel is in our lives, isn't it? Joanna Gibb

Julie O'Leary said...

We have our brass knuckles on! Do you know where we can get them for our toes?
We are sending love and prayers your way.
Thanks for sharing your hearts and testimonies with us on Sunday.
Julie O'Leary

Brooke said...

Thank you for sharing. We have been worried and wondering what is going on. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family!

Erin said...

Quote of the day: Thomas Carlyle, "He who has health, has hope. He who has hope has everything." Everything is going your way, Dad! Just keep on swimming and know that we love you!


Dave O'Leary said...

Dear Clot,

Prayers are being answered. We knew Dennis would be the exception just based on his being exceptional. We are ready to join in the fight and are polishing our brass knuckles and knee pads. We appreciate your efforts to keep us updated through the blog, but do not hesitate to tell us what we can do to be of service over the next 10+ weeks.

Chris said...

Dear Dennis and Joan,
We want you to know that we are praying for our wonderful (past) neighbors. If there is anything that we can do to help, please don't hesitate to let us know.
Love, Chris and Jennifer Sorensen

Dave O'Leary said...

Amazed at not only your creative writing, but wonderful sense of humor during this test. We laugh as we read and learn about the procedures Dennis will undergo. Happy to hear he will keep his hair. I remember one of the first times we talked he was clean shaven, and I was in the midst of growing a beard. Not long after, he told me that he had to grow his beard again as Brodi was coming home from her mission and told him he better not be clean shaven. Keep up your spirits as there is strength in positive thoughts. We are positive and prayerful for an ongoing miracle.

Love O'Learys