Dear Cancer:



Dear Cancer:  FullSizeRender (6)

Stop picking on my Dad.  You are messing with the  wrong guy.  He doesn’t deserve this.  He is fighting so hard and you are relentless.  Ease up would ya? Stop hurting him. Stop hurting my family.

You have proven to be difficult and aggressive.  We went back to Germany to give you another fight, and you take us out at the knees and failed to respond. Well, my dad is tenacious and tougher than you and he’s going to keep on fighting this incessant battle. 

You have taken too many lives, caused too much pain and anguish.  Enough already.  This is me sending you a big FU. I mean this with deepest sincerity. 

Eff off, Patti

Results from the first trip to Germany showed that the treatment in early June didn’t work. It didn’t break down the cancer as promised. Why? We can’t say with 100% certainty; all we do know is that this metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer is aggressive.  The science made sense, but there is the thought that previous therapies could have gotten involved and interfered with this nuclear medicine. That is only one doctor’s opinion, so take that as you will.  Since no therapies took place between the first and second trip to Germany, they decided to give it another shot. Will this work?  We don’t know, and we’re not going to wait to find out.  Time is of the essence. My dad’s team of oncologists here in the States already have the next plan in motion.

Don’t get me wrong, there is still some hope that this nuclear therapy may work, but other factors have come into play and he’s decided to move forward with therapies available here in the U.S. rather than heading back to Germany for the third potential treatment.

76460.jpgDespite the smiles on our faces, this trip to Germany was a bad one for my dad.  Firstly, the pain that he is living with is debilitating, so the travel alone was brutal.  When we see my dad for a couple hours here and there, he puts his best foot forward, and can do that for a short period of time. But spending 24 hours together was a very hard reality to see. Walking hurts. Sitting hurts. Laying down hurts. Being hurts. The physical pain is only half of the equation.  The emotional pain was something entirely different.

He was told that there is tumor activity on his liver. If or when this cancer spreads to the visceral organs that’s when the stuff hits the fan. My dad didn’t want to tell my mom over the phone so he held onto this information by himself for 48 hours in isolation.  His mortality staring him in the face.  I dropped my mom off at the hospital so they could catch up and come to find out my parents were crying in each other’s arms with this news.

The next day he had another ultrasound to take a deeper look at the liver and come to find out they were WRONG. Unapologetically wrong. Thank you Universe for this doctor’s stupidity and inaccuracy. You would think that with news like this you would make certain that this is in fact true.  Double check, triple check before you tell someone that the looming end is closer than expected.

Let’s get Bampie home.

Back across the pond we travel, we’re surprised at the airport by my sisters, nieces and my little family. So very happy to be home. But the last couple days have been the worst. My dad has never been in this much pain or had this much sickness from any of his other therapies over the last 10+ years. He communicated this to his oncologists here and as I stated earlier the wheels are in motion to get the next treatment underway.

Yesterday he was back at Dana Farber for a few appointments consisting of blood work, meeting with the pain and palliative care specialist and with his oncologist. All this goes down, and so does he.  Weak in the knees, BP dropping, skin color gray. He was stabilized and brought to the ER. We’re not entirely sure what caused all this, so he was sent for an MRI to ensure that there were no tumors compressing the nerves on his spinal column. The initial read confirmed that they were not.  After fluids and steroids, he was discharged.  My parents were back at the hospital again today for more scans to lay the groundwork for the next therapy.

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#TeamWhelan at Brigham and Women’s ER

So this is where we are.  And who knows, something could change. Updates are always changing, so as often as we try to communicate, half the time we don’t know what to say.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t address the additional crap that has happened this past month, on top of these last 2 weeks.  Cancer has taken 2 very very cherished people from this earth. Greg. You, my un-blood Uncle, have been one of my most favorite human beings on this earth. I really don’t / can’t / won’t believe you are gone. Greg was my dad’s best friend and a huge part of our family.  So here’s a big FU to pancreatic cancer.  And Lori, a dear advocate friend of my dad’s and many. I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting her, but from how heartbroken my dad is about her passing, I can gather that her light has touched many lives and was an incredible friend. So FU to metastatic breast cancer. Rest easy Greg and Lori, cancer can’t hurt you anymore.  And… my parents had to put their 16 year old cat to sleep 3 weeks ago, that’s just sad restrictions

Being the person I am, I can’t close in sadness. I really try to find the light and positivity no matter how hard it is to locate. So yes, Germany was a tough trip, but I will forever cherish that time cruising at, oh say 150 kilometers down an autobahn with my dad and mom.   I’ll never forget those conversations or that special time we shared.  And there will be more moments like this.  Make these moments and keep cruising.

That sign right there means “no restrictions” as you drive on an autobahn, so I offer this to you Dad, your fight has no boundaries, no limitations, no restrictions. I can’t love you enough for that.



13 responses »

  1. So sorry Patti, Jack, Jan and the rest of the Whelan clan. Words do not usually fail me, and yet, this time they do. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. Love, Papa

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Patti, can’t find anything to say after reading this except for you to know that we and so many people who don’t even know love you and are praying for you, your Dad and your amazing family. And thank you for sharing this heartfelt, rocky, uplifting, discouraging, erratic, unpredictable experience. You are very brave & strong to put your experience and feelings on paper and share with the world…who needs to know. You have all learned things no one wants to have to learn and do!
    PS Interesting that you say you don’t want to think of Uncle Greg as “gone”. Either do I and anyone else I’ve spoken with feel he is still here! I think so.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Patti – you’re so great at putting your thoughts and feelings into words. I’m sure you speak for SO many. Jack’s love for others and the ‘fight’ in him are truly inspiring. Some families don’t have each other’s backs the way your family does. It’s so great to see. Because when all else fails – love remains. I’m here for Jack, in whatever way I can be…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I had tears in my eyes as I read this and then when I got to the end it made me smile. You are so right No Restrictions!!! I have always been a huge supporter of your dad and mom and your family fighting this disgusting disease. You are all the strongest people I know and I always say I only have one word for your dad………….awesome!!!! Please know that I will continue to pray for your dad, mom and all of you. Tell your dad I have my army boots ready to kick his cancer’s ass whenever he is ready. I too have lost loved ones to this disgusting disease and enough is enough. Love to you all, Anita

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Patti I’m so sad to here your Dad is dealing with pain 😦 even though i have never met your Dad he was one of the first people to respond to me about Waldenstrom which my husband has, I was so frantic for answers and he was kind to reach out. I feel like he’s my lucky charm and think of him often. I will send out positive thought for no pain and healing for Jack.
    Kind Regards

    Judy from California


  6. Patti I’m so sorry to hear this I know your dad not as a father but very dear friend I’ve known him for many years hes a fighter and I know he will beat this. I will Keep Praying for him and the family God works in mysterious ways.All will be well I know he’s a strong believer.
    William (Bill) in Shrewsbury
    Mocaps Member and friend


  7. Patti, Thank you for your honest and deeply felt blog. I know your dad from ESCAPE and always have felt connected through the distance. I am saddened by his journey and your families. I do understand that with the depth of pain, there is always still love. My thoughts and prayers are with you.


  8. Jack, thank you for being the warrior and inspiration for many of us WM’ers (Wallies) and other cancer patients. Peace and love to you.


  9. Dear Patti Your dads and awesome guy and doesn’t deserve this Happing to him it breaks my heart and deeply saddens me hes a mentor to me and very dear friend Im keeping you always All of you in my thoughts and Prayers
    warmest regards William Shenette


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