My Dad's Journey with Cancer

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

Aug. 26, 2020

Who thought you would strive to be unremarkable in certain aspects of your life?

Four months ago, the MRI on my dad did not go as planned. The contrast was not put in at the right time so the scan came back with limited information. So, this time they did a Gallium scan (HD) that my dad did when he did his PRRT treatment in Houston.

My dad’s cancer was documented and described as unremarkable. No signs of cancer on the pancreas since the Whipple and unremarkable, tiny tumors on his liver! I have never been more excited that my dad was told he was just an average/normal boring, cancer patient. No excitement. That is what we pray for when we have a family member fighting an illness.

When he told me, I told my husband and mom that I wanted to go in the corner, roll into a ball and start to cry. It has been such a rollercoaster that it is simply amazing that his body, physically and mentally, has been able to continue to fight after the Whipple surgery, Chemo pill and Radiation treatment with only one kidney working at 43%.

His oncologist has now pushed his scans from every 4 months to every 5 months! Dad, you amaze me every day in how great of a husband, father and papa you are…all while fighting this internal battle. You are a fighter and I am so glad that you are my dad and my kids’ Papa B. Thanks for being unremarkable for once.. 😊

Apr. 21, 2020

The world is experiencing a time of uncertainty. For some it is scary because of the economy, some employment, or lack of, some the presidency, some health…and some ALL of it. There is enough bad talk happening on social media….as I feel there is almost every time I go to post. Right now, for people saying the virus is a hoax or not as bad as the flu or a common cold, etc…well, this is my blog, keep that to yourself please. Think about others. Think about this…

My dad. (To name one).

My dad is a fighter, as are MANY others are in this country and around the world. They are fighting autoimmune diseases, cancers, heart disease, diabetes, even small children have health issues…so if you are a healthy person expressing that…well I am happy for you that you are healthy but not everyone has the privilege to be healthy.

Today, my dad got news that his health stayed the same! 😊 No growth, spread. His kidney is hanging in there. 😊 Great NEWS!!!!! So, he stayed “just as healthy as normal.”

My dad is not taking risks and he shouldn’t. Neither should others around him because, real or not, why risk it? He is worth it!

There have been so many people along the way praying and supporting my dad and we continue to be forever thankful! I truly believe this is why we continue to get great news…

So just to finish, I want to thank everyone, as always for their prayers!

Dad, thank you for fighting every day. The last couple months you seem a lot better with more energy (or you hid it better) haha. Either way, I am so proud to call you my dad and have my daughters call you PaPa. They both love you but let’s face it, Ashlyn…ADORES you! <3 I love you more, dad.

Dec. 12, 2019

My dad can be a boring man which some may think is a bad thing. Well, when your oncologist tells you that you’re a boring patient…you take it as a compliment and you walk out the door.

Boring patient = Stable. No growth. No spreading.

Today, I am glad to say my dad is boring. Super, Super boring!!! I will take boring over drama/worrying/stress any day! All I want for Christmas is a healthy Family and although some are not categorized as “healthy”…we are not going anywhere anytime soon <3

 

Happy Holidays! And May Your Family Be As Blessed As Ours! <3

And if you have read my posts before….you know, and I hope my dad knows by now, I love you so much. I am such a lucky girl to have you as my father. I wouldn’t change it for the world. You are now and will always be my hero. Love you more.

Aug. 28, 2019

NEW HEADLINE: DAD CONTINUES TO BE AMAZINGLY AWESOME!!

 

I am sure everyone can agree with this headline. He has been fighting this stupid thing called cancer for years. Living closer to him (and yes, you too mom 😊) makes life better. I get to hear his corny jokes, share ice cream with him, he comes and watches Autumn do karate, short vacations (Rocky Pointe) together, the list goes on for why I am so thankful to be close to him. To have him in my life.

You hear all these awful stories about people fighting for their life in many different ways and my heart breaks and aches every time I hear one of those stories. Not everyone gets the chance to have their dad (or someone else that is dear to your heart) in their life and that is not fair.

With that being said, he is one of the lucky ones. My dad and I often talk about being lucky and that other people have it worse off than us. We continue to be thankful for what we have even if at some moments it is difficult to stay positive. Obviously, wish we were a little luckier so I wouldn’t have to be writing this post.

At my dad’s last check-up, even though dad may not agree or not want me to tell (too bad dad, this is my post hahaha), but it was a scary one. My dad’s kidney is working hard. His kidney is running a marathon and it keeps chugging along but it is tired. His bloodwork showed that his kidney is now at 40% filtration. That is the lowest it has been to date. The oncologist (not a kidney specialist) was not too concerned because “it isn’t kidney failure.” He did tell him to go see a urologist specialist so that will come in a couple weeks. Keep working little kidney!!

 

On the VERY BRIGHT SIDE, my dad’s cancer has NOT spread and NOT grown. It is amazing!!!!! SOOO lucky!!!

I continue to pray at night for my dad. I am not big on praying…but if he can hear me and is willing to listen, then, I will keep doing it. So far, he has heard my prayers. Now it is time to include kidney in the prayer.

 

GREAT NEWS but, I’ll be honest…It would have been perfect news if that kidney function was higher.

 

Thanks for keeping strong and not letting this stupid thing keep you from enjoying life. The memories we are making now will be remembered forever. Just like you being that crazy dad running up and down the field at my soccer games. A forever memory. Let’s keep making memories!!! Love you dad!!