Friends and Family
We’re writing to share some hard news about Marney’s health. Some of you have heard bits and pieces, others of you will be hearing about this for the first time.
Since July, Marney has had a dry cough (thought it was reflux). In August, there was the discovery of blood clots in her right leg that led to being put on a blood thinner, and to two episodes of mild stroke symptoms in October. For the last three weeks she has been tested, scanned, had a biopsy, and we’ve learned that the root of all these symptoms is cancer (it can cause blood clots, and small blood clots in the brain and lungs explain the stroke symptoms and the coughing). All of this likely started to develop in the last 6-9 months.
Yesterday, the oncologist confirmed she has Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. The whirlwind of these last three weeks feels surreal, it’s shaken our lives as never before, and re-directed what will be next in our journey together.
The cancer is in the pancreas, and most extensively in an enlarged liver, plus a small spot on the right hip bone. She has decided not to pursue clinical trials, unless there might be one at the National Cancer Institute’s regional site in Albuquerque. We will know this by Friday. If there is a current trial that might apply to her, we can hold off starting chemotherapy. Otherwise, her first treatment is this coming Monday, Nov 4.
We are getting a second opinion in Albuquerque (regardless of the clinical trial possibility) and the doctors will collaborate as needed. In the meantime, she will start the chemotherapy so as not to compromise the liver’s functioning by waiting.
We’ll follow a traditional plan of three treatments (weekly) followed by one week off, repeating that for 2-3 months and then test/scan to see about progress. This will be enhanced by a significant change in diet intended to remove the sugars that cancer feeds on (ketogenic diet of high fats, moderate proteins, no carbs, no sugars — e.g. leafy green veggies, some meats/eggs, berries, nutrient-dense foods like bone broth, avocadoes, nuts/seeds — all organic “clean” foods). This will be coupled with other integrative medicine therapies as we sort them out. The nutrition coach is in Taos, the chemo treatments will be in Santa Fe or Albuquerque.
Marney adds: The doctor has given us every hope to see reduction in the number and size of the tumors from this chemo regimen. Exactly how much remains to be seen, and for now the risk of a stroke remains an unpredictable factor. I am convinced that diet and lifestyle changes have the potential to significantly enhance those outcomes, and will be actively pursuing all that I can. I never planned on dying at 70 — I know, don’t laugh! — but the draw of all the things I still want to do is giving me the hope and the fight to believe in possibilities that defy the odds.
We ask for three responses.
– Feel free to pass this news along to others you know or we know or have known from our time together. All prayers are welcome.
– We’re trying to build a support community as far and wide as possible. As this fight begins, please pray for strength (Marney is losing weight and needs to gain back those pounds to face the treatments ahead)… courage (while we remain confident in God’s love in all this, we are still fearful for the challenges that lie ahead)… and hope (this is what we need every day).
– We welcome your contact; if you do, please tell us something about your summer, fall, family, joys. You are all important to us because we’ve shared a part of this life’s journey together. Lots of good memories, laughter, struggles at times, but nothing like this.
Life turns, sometimes on a dime.
Some of you also will not know that we sold the condo in Santa Fe this summer and bought a house in Taos, in order to consolidate our lives into just one community. We are thrilled with this decision, and of course, still have the cabin in the mountains for the summertime.
Our new mailing address is:
327 Santistevan Lane, Taos, NM 87571
Emails remain the same, as do cell phones.
Try Dave’s cell first: 575-776-4673 (Marney’s resting more these days)
We are holding onto many good thoughts, not the least of which is: In life and in death, we belong to God. Trusting this very much these days.
Dave and Marney
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