by Colby Robbins
“In January 2017, my Pop starting feeling fatigued enough where he would come by from work and nap on his lunch break. In May, he was diagnosed with Type I diabetes, which is in our family, so we didn’t think anything of it. Especially terminal cancer. He struggled deeply with the diabetes, the shock of that and the lifestyle changes were hard for him to accept. Even with the insulin shots and metformin, he still wasn’t getting better. We took our last family trip to Arizona and Vegas in September 2017. His pancreas, liver and one kidney were already made up of cancer by then but we still thought it was just diabetes. We were supposed to spend a few days in Colorado Springs, but we had to end the trip early. My Pop had his yearly scan, due to having prostate cancer years before, a few months before his diagnosis. He was sent to OU Medical in OKC, where they discovered it was pancreatic cancer. He began chemo in November at the Cancer Treatment Center of America in Tulsa. I still had hopes, only because I was not familiar with the very low survival rate. After a few sessions, he started struggling with eating because everything tasted like cardboard to him and dropped a lot of weight. My Pop had to stop his job working as a truck driver and was spending all his time in the recliner. The more I saw him, the more afraid I got because deep down, I knew he was dying. Luckily, we had one last Christmas together and I truly thought he was getting into a routine. He ate a big dinner, consisting of potato soup and I really had so much hope that night. Everything went downhill after Christmas. The week before my Pop went into hospice, he’d been at Mercy’s ER a few times, due to dehydration. Around 3 AM on January 8th, 2018, I remember still not being asleep yet when my Gram called and told us that he’d passed out in the bathroom from being too weak. Even though he stopped being coherent on day 3, he lasted a full week surrounded by family.”
by Maura Spence-Carroll
Bob Boyett was an Air Force veteran, former CIA officer, retired rancher, and a loving father and Grandbob who played a mean game of poker. He was a stoic man with a great faith in the goodness of humanity and a fantastic storyteller whether giving a keynote speech or spinning a yarn on the back porch. After his retirement, he continued volunteering across the United States but especially dedicated himself to raising funds for the Texas Elks Camp, which provided a summer camp experience for children with special needs and those in the foster care system free of charge. On April 23, 2016, Grandbob was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer after months of missed symptoms at doctor appointments and ER visits. At 75 years old, he had lived a long and fulfilling life, and treatment options would only grant him an extra 6-18 months at best. He passed away at home on May 30, 2016, surrounded by the family he loved so dearly as my aunt and I held his hands.
by Charlize Martin
My dad was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer on April 1st, 2022 (we no longer celebrate April Fools Day). We got 7 more amazing months with him until he passed away on November 17th, 2022 (I have just learned that that was World Pancreatic Cancer Day 2022 from your page). I could talk about him on and on and on; he had so many fun stories to share, could always have a conversation or debate about anything, and was mine, my mom, and my sister’s absolute best friend in the world. We all were with him until the very end, where he was able to find his wings in the comfort of his own home, as he wished.
James "Butch" Hendricks
by Lauren Hendricks
It’s sometimes hard to remember what life was like before Dad was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. We had almost 3 years with him once he got his diagnosis. While devastating at first, having the diagnosis reminded us to live every day in the moment and to be appreciative of the time we have together. Dad found purpose in his cancer journey once he attended his first Whitney’s Race. He was amongst survivors and families who had experienced the same emotions and struggles. He really found purpose when he could reach out to other pancan warriors and give them encouragement. Dad went through a variety of treatments and surgeries during his three year fight with pancreatic cancer. This made him wealth of knowledge when it came to offering advice and his experience to other warriors. Recently a friends dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Dad was having chemo at Mercy on the same day that my friends dad started chemo. My dad would ask how my friends dad (Kelly) was doing EVERY DAY. Even up until his final days on earth with us he was asking how Kelly was doing. There’s so much more to his story from so many different points of view. I am extremely grateful for what the Whitney Marsh Foundation does for our community members who are fighting this horrible disease.