My Dad's Journey with Cancer

May. 7, 2022

There are SEVEN Wonders of the World. There are SEVEN dwarfs in Snow White. SEVEN days in a week. SEVEN colors in the rainbow. The list goes on.

Today, it has been SEVEN years. SEVEN years since my dad was diagnosed with cancer. SEVEN years of him beating cancer. People say seven is a lucky number and today it is lucky (next year 8 will be lucky 😉 ). However, today we focus that my dad has been fighting and beating cancer for 7 years.

I am sure he remembered but did not mention it to the family that it was his “anniversary” of his diagnosis, however, we remembered. We decided to surprise him with a celebration. A celebration showing the amazing fight he has had within himself, the strength it takes to do so everyday and the courage it takes to focus on the bigger picture. How happy we are that he is still here with us.

I have included all of you on my dad’s journey so far and it has been a long one. Yet, although tough every day, he continues to live day by day and focus on the positive. He cares about others and tries not to focus on the negative. We have learned that life is too short for that. So today, we celebrate my dad. We celebrate that the doctors who continue to save his life were also wrong when they told him he had 6-8 weeks to live. We celebrate all the memories we have created in the last 7 years. All the daily conversations we have shared even if they seemed so insignificant. Today, we celebrate family being together (missing a few from afar). We celebrate our kids having their grandpa, us having our dad and my mom having her husband. We celebrate my dad.

Today, my favorite number is 7.

 

I cannot wait to say that my favorite number is 25.

 

Love you more, dad.

Mar. 14, 2022

2500 days and counting. A blessing. Every year around my daughter Autumn’s birthday I have flashbacks to me thinking that my dad may not meet my daughter. My dad had his Whipple surgery 13 days before Autumn was born and I was scared out of my mind that something may happen to him.

My dad and I have always been close and every year I still have that thought…that thought of fear. I am so glad that it was just a thought and not a reality. He has been involved in so many memories since that thought I had so many years ago and, now I do not get those thoughts anymore. I do not get as scared when he gets his scans. I do get nervous about his bloodwork, however, seeing him everyday fighting, enjoying life to the best that he can and make memories everyday with his family is simply amazing.

Another blessing has happened to our family on these scans. My dad’s cancer continues to remain stable and his kidney function and filtration has improved since last time. The positive thoughts and prayers are so great. Please keep them up and may this blessing continue. <3

Nov. 15, 2021

It has been 4 months since my last post. There have been a lot of changes in my parents’ lives in these months.

However, one thing has NOT changed….he continues to beat the odds….his cancer remains STABLE! No growth and no spreading! Best. News. Ever.

His poor little kidney does continue to work hard and struggle but refuses to give up. Thank goodness! The latest results show that it is now at 37% filtration which is the lowest it has been but only by 1%. We believe that next blood results will show improvement and this was just a small fluke.

Between these tests, there is a lot that goes on. There are side effects of his Whipple surgery that I won’t go into detail that the doctors are still trying to figure out. Maybe next post that will come out when we get more information.

I know this website and these posts are about my dad’s cancer updates and they will continue to be, however, I do want to mention that through all this that my dad has been and is amazing. It has to be difficult not to get lost in something so intense, stressful and painful as this. My dad still does so many things for so many people.

Sometimes when we are hanging out with family you can just see him get lost in the happiness around him. He grabs forts for the grandkids, always has ice cream, telling stories, mentioning 100x that his brother is coming to town without probably even knowing it, stopping by to walk your dogs (and fix the golf cart), going to the casino (haha)….he does so much for the people around him and gets excited about things (brother visiting) without noticing (I think) how much it means to the people around him. Well dad, I notice. I notice you fighting. I notice you happy. I notice when you don’t feel good. I notice all the things you do for me and the ones around you. And I hear you when you laugh to yourself to take a picture. Keep laughing dad. Keep laughing.

Jul. 22, 2021

Cancer is a constant battle. You battle the symptoms that come along with it whether it is stomach aches, tiredness, irritability (he is probably slowly turning his head at my mom right now…haha) or even the things you have to put your body and organs through. The monthly shots, MRI’s, the daily foods you have to eat or stay away from, the daily medications and so forth.

My dad went from having MRI’s every 3 months to every 4 months back to every 3 months because his last scans showed that the cancer had grown. Well, 3 months have passed and he just got his bloodwork done and his scans again. This time the tumors have remained stable which is amazing news! Once they start growing the doctors say, “they keep growing” but not this time. Thank God! I hope it continues this way!!!

His kidney continues to struggle. It is working at a 40% filtration. My dad does what he needs to do on a daily basis that can help but there is only so much he can do. They have decided to move the scans back to 4 months again since the tumor is considered “stable” again. The contrast on the MRI is also hard on his kidney so if they do not have to do it frequently then they do not want to.

Definitely got AMAZING news and some news where we continue to worry/watch the kidney. My dad is a fighter though and he does it every day.

He FINALLY decided to take disability so that he could give himself a break and relax to help him continue to fight! He did not want to step away from his FedEx Family but knew it was best at this time.

Everyday we are thankful for your thoughts and prayers! Please keep them up as it gives him & us hope and strength. We feel the love!

Dad, love you more.

Jan. 22, 2021

The definition of a dad found online.

/dad/ noun informal. a male parental figure that is present and participating in a child's life.

 

The definition of my dad.

Jim Burhorn /person/. a male parental figure that has impacted his children, friends, and other family members in ways he will never know and words cannot explain. A fighter, hero and inspiration to his children, wife, parents, brothers, and others that don’t express it enough. A caring person that is willing to help whenever and wherever he can. A person that works hard, loves with his whole heart, laughs while taking a picture to smile, has a dry sense of humor but can make a large group of people laugh….a type of person that everyone wishes to meet in their lifetime.

 

My dad is not a “normal” dad. He is a dad that exceeds the expectations of a normal dad. He has always chosen to be a role model for his children and others around him on what a decent and loving person is and looks like in this world. I am saying this because it is true. I am also saying this because when we got the news, I am about to share….as I cried because even though we were told this day would come you never want it to (obviously)…I texted my best friend (of 17yrs), Michelle, because my husband was at work…her response shouldn’t have surprised me as much as it did.

She said, Paige. This is your dad. If this was anyone else, I would be worried but your dad is tough and a fighter. He has been winning and will continue to win. End of story.

Then, I told my husband. He said the same thing, he said, your dad is tough and a fighter. He will get a game plan with the doctors and will get this.

Then, my mother-in-law…same thing.

The list continues. I saw then that others see what I see. They see my dad as a strong, fighting, wonderful person that will do what it takes. He has beaten the odds and he will continue to with doctors, a treatment plan and prayers.

Sorry about the rant, the facts:

      My dad’s cancer is back. Not spots in his liver back, but like BACK. He has a 5mm tumor on the tail of his pancreas. There were never any tumors on the tail of his pancreas. There is now almost a 1 inch tumor on his liver, in addition to all the small tumors that were already there. His one and only kidney is functioning at an all time low…37%. He has an appointment on the 28th with a kidney specialist which will hopefully help the kidney function increase drastically but nothing will be done with the tumors at this time. We just have to wait…4 months until the next scan and hope that nothing grows or spreads.

Dad, I know that it is kinda weird and crappy that during times like this you find out your impact on others but you have made a huge impact on so many. There are so many people behind you right now. Let’s get a game plan and keep winning! This is just a little hiccup.

Prayers, good thoughts, love, etc. are needed. We all know he is a fighter but love and support during this time is always good <3