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Monday, July 20, 2009

Update on Jim Martinsen's Health

Hello everyone,

My mom suggested setting up a blog for me to keep you posted about Jim's health, and how we are doing. She had a friend that did this for her husband, and it helped her to be able to write about his life, so I hope that writing about Jim will help me get through this very harsh time.

Jim and I have spent the last three days gathering our thoughts and preparing for what will come. I went and spoke with the Dr. today, because I wanted to have a candid converation on what to expect, so that I can be mentally prepared, I guess as prepared as anyone can be. Jim and I will go back to the doctor on Wednesday.

Jim has lost much weight, and it appears the cancer has affected his pancreas, liver, gall bladder, appendix and large colon. I now know that pancreatic cancer is called the silent killer because by the time it's diagnosed, it's usually too far advanced for there to be any cure. Occasionally a surgery can be done called the "Whipple Maneuver" but in Jim's case the tumor is inoperable. It is wrapped around a large artery that runs through the pancreas. Other factors against us are the apparent spread of the cancer, his age, and the largeness and aggressiveness of the tumor.

Jim and I have already decided to use Estes Park Hospice, they were so wonderful to us last year when my grandma, who was living with us, was diagnosed with cancer, and died. I feel comfortable with the medical help and support we have.

Jim isn't ready to die, and I'm not ready for him to die. In fact, I asked the nurse today, "am I imagining this, or is it real?" She said, "I'm so sorry hon, but it's real."

We are taking each day as a blessing. Pray for courage and peace for Jim, limited pain, and being able to live each day that he has left with his bright optimism.

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