Billy is my brother. He's 25. A newly-awarded blackhawk pilot in the army. He just finished flight school in Alabama, and is on leave until mid-October, when he is supposed to report to Hawaii. He's been visiting friends, and had plans to stop and see several of you. As we all know, sometimes life doesn't go according to plans.
There are many details in this story. I will give the basics now, and share more in future posts.
Billy (or Cooter, as many of you know him), just spent the past weekend in the Florida Keys with friends. He was losing his appetite, and his stomach was hurting more and more.
Tyler and Melissa went with him to the ER on Monday. They found lots of fluid in his abdomen, some sort of mass, and a bunch of "nodules." He had a CAT scan on Monday. They drained 2 liters of fluid from his abdomen on Tuesday, and did another CAT scan. They saw a bunch of masses in the CAT scan, but weren't sure what all that meant because of the fluid. On Wednesday, they did an endoscopy. During all this time, he was on pain meds, and the frequency started increasing. But the pain meds are harsh, and they made him throw up. He's been throwing up since Monday night.
Billy was diagnosed with poorly differentiated gastric adenocarcinoma on Thursday morning. In basic terms, that means stomach cancer. It's in stage IV (highly advanced). The doctors say it's incurable and inoperable. It's too big and too far spread to get it out.
We have lots of friends and family with connections trying to help out with information and options. And we're trying to filter through everything to make the best choices for Billy. At this point, he's in a lot of pain. He's hot a lot of the time, and he's very thirsty. He's now on pain meds every hour (instead of every 4), and he's counting down the minutes until they can give him more meds. We're trying to get some nutrition into his system, as he hasn't eaten since Sunday. His body needs nutrients if it's going to heal.
If you pray, here are some things we need:
- We're going to try to sell his car (which he had planned to do in preparation for going to HI). Pray that we'd get an excellent price for it.
- We're working on alternative options for treatment. Pray for us to know what's true, and what's the best. Pray for healing.
- We want to get a 2nd opinion. Pray that we'd find gracious people who are willing to go above and beyond expectations to advocate and fight for Billy.
- Billy is in a lot of pain. Pray for his body to settle down, the medical staff to find the best pain medication possible, and his body to hold onto any nutrition that we're able to get in him. Continue to pray for healing.
We're heading out now. I will update more later when we're able to see Billy and I have more information.
Thank you for all of your prayers and support.