My Story is about Mike Nelson
This event took place from 26 May 2020 to 20 October 2021
My grandpa Mike was sick, throwing up, back pain. So he went to the doctor and they ran a bunch of tests, that’s how they found his cancer— stage 3 pancreatic cancer.
This is My Story
My grandpa was 72. He fought for a year and a half. When we found out he had cancer, he was already at stage 3. Early detection is not a want, it is a NECESSITY. Could early detection have saved my grandpas life? Maybe. Could it save someone else’s? Absolutely.
The Impact of Time
My grandpa had his whipple in April of 2021. It was a 10.5 hour surgery and afterwards he was declared cancer free! Amazing! We were ecstatic. He had fought so hard for this. On October 7th 2021, he had a follow CT scan and blood work. His CA-19 levels had skyrocketed to over 10,000. His cancer was back. His oncologist said he had 6-12 months left as he had previously maxed out on chemotherapy, radiation, and there were no more surgery options left. There’s that funny thing about time. I was set to be married in September of 2022, so we changed that and I got married in my grandpa’s living room on October 10th 2021. Two hours after I got married, my grandpa Mike started throwing up blood. We brought him to the hospital, it was worse than we thought. The cancer was everywhere. They offered palliative care, a stent in his bowel, but he refused. He was tired, he wanted to go home. He was ready to go home and lay down his fight. On October 12th, 2021 we brought my grandpa home on hospice care and had The Best Day. We laughed, joked, he was awake and lucid and he was My Grandpa. I spent the next 8 days working with hospice and my grandma to care for him as he rapidly declined. We made him comfortable as best as we could, spoke to him, sat quietly with him, sang him quiet tunes, read to him. On October 20th, 2021 at 7:35pm he left his earthly body, his cancer, everything behind. He died. We were next to him. I held his hand, kissed his face. My grandma sat by his head. It was quiet, peaceful. He was 72.
There’s something funny about time. In the span of 12, 13 days we went from thinking we had years left, to 6-12 months, to days. We soaked it all in well we could. Even when he wasn’t awake, just sitting there holding his hand I remember begging God to let me pause time, let this moment last forever.