The Marathon He’s Really Been Training For…

Hi Friends and Family…

I wanted to share with my blogging family an email my dad just wrote us. It is two emails. One is written to his kids and my mom. The other is the one he wrote to his friends and clients. It is long, but I appreciate it fully. Hope you do, too. He is amazing.


Dear Family:
Wanted to share what I’ve been sending out to friends and clients in
the last two days. Realized that I had a number of folks that would
be appreciative of the update, so composed the following. I sent one
email to Glenn Boyette at Turner yesterday and a number of the old TBS
folks have responded, so obviously, it was forwarded to a mass TBS
audience. Love all you guys and look forward to seeing you all soon.

You will all be with me on Monday in that room…pray for the team of
doctors, nurses, and support staff…we couldn’t have asked for a
better team of folks in the entire world to be working on your old
dad. We are blessed to have each other and all the support from
everywhere. We are blessed to have Gail’s brother, Don, which allowed
immediate access to one of the finest oncology surgeons in the
country. People wait months to get on this guy’s schedule and as he
said on Tuesday…”I gave up my first born child to get you on my
schedule, but we’re on for Monday”. And, it’s not only him, but he is
working with some of the very finest support people as well..the
pathologist working with him is top notch.

So, as the operation unfolds, he will be continuously consulting with
the pathologist to check for signs of microscopic malignancy as he
moves up and down the bile duct to extricate all that is possible.
Pray that it hasn’t gone up to the liver or down to the pancreas…or
both. That’s the most scary possibility at this point…no one knows
how far or from what source the “stricture” has grown. The best we
can hope is that the origination point is where they can see the
“stricture” from the scoping process. He will actually scope me first
on Monday before going in completely…he wants to see for himself
what he’s getting into before opening me up completely. This man is
very logical in his approach and will methodically take it step by
step to as far as he needs or can go. (What I want in a surgeon is a
logical person…there’s a reason I didn’t choose surgery). The
upside in all of this is that he will not be restricted by any other
health issues. He said “you’ve given me to best odds of beating this
because of your condition. I don’t have to worry about jeopardizing
anything else to get this dealt with”.

So that’s it…I love all of you and please take care of yourselves on
Monday…I have the easy role that day. My work will start within 24
hours. This well may be the marathon I’ve actually been training for
all this time…just hasn’t given me much time to strategize about the
“route” like the other ones. It’s weird that part of my preparation
for this “run” is to eat junky stuff with lots of calories. And, over
the last few weeks, my body hasn’t particularly been craving salads
and fish for some reason. Five Guys cheeseburgers and fries with root
beer floats for dessert have been on the menu. Love and care, Dad

Back in 2006, prior to my 60th. birthday, my son Luke, who was turning
30 invited me to run our first marathon together. We picked Chicago,
and in October of that year shared a wonderful experience of running
side-by-side the whole 26.2 miles in about 4.5 hours. Since then I’ve
run Steamboat Springs Colorado, Marine Corps, Baltimore, and on April
20th. of this year, the 113th. run of The Boston Marathon. My “bucket
list” is to add New York City by 2010 and then will have participated
in the four largest domestic marathon runs.

As many of you know, I always like to start the day early with my
run…it was a part of my routine before spending time with you. My
mantra was, “today I can choose to get up and run; tomorrow, I may not
have that choice, so don’t miss the opportunity”.

The irony of my unfolding story here is that running, literally, may
be saving my life today. In mid-May, less than a month after the
absolute great experience of Boston, I have been diagnosed with
Cholangio-carcinoma. There’s a malignant tumor in my bile duct just
“south” of the liver and “north” of the pancreas. On Monday, June
15th., a surgical team at Johns Hopkins Oncology in Baltimore will
perform a procedure known as the “Whipple Procedure”. In an
estimated 7 hour process they will remove as much of the malignant
cells as they are able to find and “resection” the entire bile duct
system from the liver to the pancreas. They will do whatever possible
to ensure the malignancy has been removed. After 8 days in the
hospital I will return home for several months to heal and a process
of chemo and radiation.

Yesterday, the chief surgeon offered that because of my marathoning,
he and his team will have the highest possibility of success during
surgery not having to worry about other health factors. So for now,
I’ve lost the option to get up and run in the morning. But, after
Monday, the real marathon training starts in my rehab to full health
and my goal of a repeat of Boston in 2010.

That’s my story…here’s my request.

On Monday, June 15th. please keep my bride, Gail, all six of the
children, and all 7 (plus number 8 due in December) grandchildren, in
your thoughts, prayers, and energy. Your support and kind thoughts
for my loving and caring family, will be much appreciated during this
time and especially on Monday. They will feel your support as they
can only wait for the outcome and carry on their lives. My work
starts June 16th. and that’s to get back in the game as soon as
possible to spend time with all of you.

After June 23rd. I will be back at home for 4 weeks, and will look
forward to contact with all of you once again.

With kindest regards, Bill

One response to “The Marathon He’s Really Been Training For…”

  1. Kristin! My goodness, if only every human being was as optimistic as your father, the world would be a happier place. We're doing our best to help with what I had mentioned earlier today. Stay tuned. We love you! – Andi G. Kerr

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