Where Do I Stand?

Today was my day to visit the surgeon’s office. Andrea, their uber nurse, was waiting to remove the 18 staples from my belly. Yeah, this hurts a little.

I was much more interested in a re-read of my pathology. My memories from the hospital are hazy at best.

My tumor was 4.5 cm in diameter and the cancer was well contained within the mass. Additional material was removed until the margin contained no cancer cells. The cancer had invaded the duodenum, removed in my Whipple as a matter of course.

Sixteen lymph nodes were removed and tested. One was positive for cancer.

“So right now,” I asked, “if you went back in I’d be visibly cancer free?”


Alas, pancreatic cancer isn’t that easy. That one lymph node means chemo and possibly radiation. I remember the oncologist saying it would probably be a short protocol, but reality trumps all.

There are undoubtedly microcells hiding somewhere. They’re too small to see. They’re patient.

Truth is, I’ll probably never be cured of cancer. My desire is to remain vigilant and aggressive.

On the Facebook’s Whipple Warriors board there is an oft used acronym: NEGU. Never Ever Give Up.

22 thoughts on “Where Do I Stand?”

  1. Exactly that – Never Ever Give Up Geoff! Continuing to send best wishes, happy thoughts and loving prayers to you and your family.

  2. Hi, Fox. So, I am coming home from my Altoona/Ashland train chasing trip this past Saturday. I had the radio on. I think it was WCBS-FM 101.1; and I hear this ad for a cancer surgery center in New Jersey. Sorry I can’t remember the name of the institution but there was this man who was speaking about pancreatic cancer and undergoing the Whipple Procedure. I’m just listening to this guy on the radio and thinking of you at the same time. The guy says he is caner free. No, he did not say how many years it has been since he had the procedure. But he said he is cancer free. Fox, you gotta believe. I’m praying for you. Numerous candles have been lit at St. Agnes in Niantic. You have ALL of this support from all over creation. You will do good. You will. Like the group First Aid Kit sang, “Keep on keeping on.” Carry on, Fox. Fingers crossed, of course.

  3. Hey Geoff you have many people who are sending positive thoughts. You will beat this!! I had a melanoma that spread to my lymph nodes. I can’t remember how many were removed but I’m still here. You are already a survivor because you’re still here to tell your story. Thank you for sharing so that all your CT fans can keep praying for you. You’re a fighter… you got this!! Fight the good fight!!!

  4. Positive thoughts coming from Branford as well – my dogs have offered to keep their paws crossed (except for when they need to walk) to show solidarity with you and your family – –
    and Doppler and Roxie as well!

  5. Let’s not let those frigging cancer cells get a fighting chance. Vigilant and aggressive and one step ahead. Thumbs up!

  6. Geoff, please watch a documentary film called Forks Over Knives. Life-changing health-affirming entertaining enlightening educational movie about the relationship between food and cancer and heart disease.

  7. That Pathology, in reality was as good as you could have received. Make sure you get enough nutrition in. Cancer in reality is like starvation. The active cancer cells have a metabolic rates on the order of ~7 times baseline. Your quality of life going forward will be directly related to maintaining your body mass.

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