On Thursday, August 27, 2009, Dad was diagnosed with appendix cancer. During exploratory surgery, doctors found cancer cells in his small intestines and omentum that had metastasized from his appendix. Upon this discovery, his appendix and a 4cm tumor was removed from his small intestines.

           Several nodules were discovered both in his small intestines and his omentum (a thin membranous bag that suspends from the stomach and transverse colon, and overhangs the intestines like an apron).  Dad is currently receiving treatment in Winfield, Al.... while returning to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston every 3 months from which his treatments are being managed.

             Dad began his treatment in September of 2009. He was first treated with the FOLFOX regimen. After 3 months of this treatment regimen Dad's CEA level dropped from 20ng/ml to >1ng/ml.  Although much success was achieved with this treatment, it did cause much nausea and vomiting and discomfort for Dad. After suffering from a stroke on January 19, 2010, Dad's treatment was postponed for a little over a month to give him time to recover. 

             Once Dad's treatments started back in February 2010, his treatment regimen changed. Instead of the previous 3 drugs he had been receiving, they decided to take away Oxaliplatin so that the treatments wouldn't be as hard on him while still recovering from his stroke. Throughout the year, Dad continued to receive a multiple number of treatments in hopes to slow/stop the progression of his cancer.

               In January of 2011, Dad had a follow-up appointment at MD Anderson that did not go as we had prayed it would. His oncologist decided that the treatment was causing more harm than good. The side effects Dad was having outweighed any benefits he was receiving from the his chemotherapy. At that time, MD Anderson decided there was nothing else they could do for Dad. The only hope was for Dad to be placed in on a "trial" drug, but Dad did not qualify for any trial medications due to his limited heart function caused from his heart attack in 2001.

               Not liking the answer that we had received, Dad scheduled an appointment to travel to Zion, IL to one of the many Cancer Treatment Centers of America. We received hope at least to try something more at the CTCA in March 2011. Six weeks after beginning a new treatment, Dad returned to the CTCA in April only to receive more bad news. At this time we were told that his cancer had spread into his lungs and had thickened in all the surrounding areas that were previously there. With devastation we prayed for healing.  Dad's oncologist at CTCA informed us of one remaining drug that he could try to treat Dad's cancer. Our last option came with a pancreatic cancer medication that had a small response in appendix cancer patients. Although not given much hope, Dad wanted to try the medication with hopes of being one of the 30% that this medication helped.
               On May 8, 2011 (Mother's Day), Dad woke up extremely sick. Dad had not eaten much over a couple days time and woke up that morning nauseated and vomiting.  At that time, Dad had began retaining a lot of fluid in his abdominal area.  Not knowing what else to do, we took Dad to the E.R. in Birmingham. Upon this trip to the hospital we discovered that Dad's abdomen had retained so much fluid that it had caused his stomach to collapse. They decided to place 2 drains, one in each of Dad's sides, to drain some of the fluid that had collected. The drains worked great, but this was the beginning of Dad's end with his cancer battle. With nothing else they could do for him, they also sent Dad home with little hope. On the way home Dad stopped by to see his local, primary physician to see if he had any other recommendations to help Dad. Upon seeing Dad in the pitiful shape he was in, Dad's physician decided to admit him to the local hospital where Dad would stay almost two weeks.

Due to the limited cases of appendix cancer, Dad's chemotherapy regimen changed consistently for 2 years based on his response to each medication and side effects.  Dad fought so hard...but was eventually sent home, given weeks to live unless a miracle took place. We all prayed extremely hard for that miracle to happen; However, God had other plans for Dad.

               On June 14, 2011 Dad's battle with cancer ceased and he was cured as he entered the gates of Heaven. On that day Heaven's gain was definitely our loss. As a wonderful husband, great father, an inspiration to our community, and well-remembered friend... Dad will be greatly missed. Cancer no longer holds Dad down... He is now healed and smiling that big smile we remember so well.

              Please continue to remember and honor Dad each year with us as we hold our annual Walk/Run for Appendix Cancer research.  All donations and funds received through our website/race will be given directly to appendix cancer research.