MaryBeth and I were sitting in the exam room when the doctor walked in and asked how I was doing. I paused in my response (as I typically do when someone asks) and she jumped in with, “Your scans are fine!” In fact, according to the written report, various internal organs (pancreas, lungs, spleen, liver, etc.) are unremarkable. There was no change in the pancrease or the mass of cells left on my mesenteric artery from my last set of scans and my CA19-9 level was still in the single digits! All in all, a good report!

My next scans are scheduled for the middle of May (which is not really 3 months, but we wanted to have the scans and results before the big Doddridge (MaryBeth’s side) family reunion in Ohio. The doctor also agreed that 2 years IS a big date and that some time after August 14, I will get my chemo port removed and I will switch to a 6 month check-up schedule (like I have said previously, the 2-year mark is a biggie)!

Thanks for all the positive energy! It worked, yet again!


  1. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Merle I am soooo happy for you I having been praying that everything is OK. I have mild chronic pancreatitis (36 yrs old non-alcholic) and I get nausea and fatigue all of the time so maybe it just has something to do with everything your pancreas has gone through.

    I did have a question though and I hope you don’t mind answering. But, how come you doing get chemo every 6 months for a while after you have your whipple(for a couple years)? I mean maintenance chemo just to make sure the PC is totally gone? I was just wondering and I don’t know if you have an answer but once again congrats!!

  3. Merle – Congrats! That’s exciting. I’m really happy for you. Look forward to catching up this weekend! Back to Gilwell. . .

  4. Merle, wonderul news. Two-year anniverseries are a big deal and your story is remarkable and inspiring. I’m heartened. BTW if you want to get rich, find a way to make barium taste good. I used to mix it with surgarless lo-calorie hot chocolate powder, but that was for scans where the organ of interest was not the pancereas. Still, I can’t imagine the small amount of fats and proteins in the mix would possibly mess up the scan, but ask.

  5. Congrats! Merle, this is a big milestone and one of many, I hope.

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