First, I want to send my positive vibes to this Greek Island of Mykonos. I have loved the Greek Islands more than anywhere else on Earth, so even though I have bad news, I will let my mind wander there after I write this. So beautiful.
I received this heartbreaking news on Monday from my oncologist and I have needed several days to just let it absorb in my own mind & soul. Then I needed time to figure out how to write about it. I am still not sure I am totally on top of this, if that is even possible.
I knew going in that pancreatic cancer is a TOUGH cancer to beat, especially when the tumor is too close to the main arteries to not be candidate for the Whipple surgery. But I have had 20 long & hard sessions of strong chemo way back in September thru November, then I did many many alternative method treatments (drips, pills, etc etc).
Recently I did 25 consecutive weekdays of targeted radiation combined with chemo. We then had to wait at least 6 weeks for everything to settle down to get a true CTScan of my whole insides. It was tough waiting.
Then the doctor told me last week that the tumor had not grown at all….. and I was pleased with that. But the second set came in from my lungs and that is not good.
Basically, the bad news is that my cancer has now spread to many lesions on my lungs, which means it has metastasized in my body, making it Stage 4 Cancer now. That was and is a shock.
I asked him to tell my honestly my chances, and he says probably I will live less than 6 months. GULP!
So I now live with this reality. And I plan on keeping my spirit as high as I can. Cancer has beat my body up for sure, but it will not kill my spirit. The Bill that you all know is still here, just a lot weaker & skinnier.
Now, I say this to all of you. We are all going to die someday…. no one leaves this Earth without dying. And, sure, I do feel somewhat “cheated” for probably losing a few “senior years” I would sure like to live. But in all honesty, I have really lived a FULL and exciting life….. far bigger than I ever imagined in my boyhood. Thru all the joys I had in my sports career, then multiply that by 10 in having an exciting hobby of photography that blossomed into a wildly successful career I have had the last 40 years…. I can only feel blessed. I have traveled to over 200 countries and felt honored on all the assignments I have had. I have felt thrilled leading so many large crews of models, celebrities, makeup, assistants, etc all around our planet while we did so many major advertising campaigns. And then the “cream on top” was creating my BACHMANN TOUR OVERDRIVE group of friends that we explored all 7 continents as friends laughing all the way! That is my biggest joy in my career for sure.
I have been thrilled with the life I chose and have lived life fully. I truly have tried to start each day of my life with positive feelings that carry a person into a happy life. In my sports days, and then in my growing photography business, and then in lectures, books, TV shows, etc etc I have always attempted to inspire people to live life fully, enjoy each day, start always with a positive attitude and life will be better. Perhaps I have even inspired some small group with this cancer blog and photos I have shared. I will not stop that now, even though I may try some additional chemo to add time to my life. (It has some negative reactions, etc so I have not made up my mind this week whether I will try this new chemo).
I know so many of you will want to call or come and visit, and I really do beg you not to. I am so weak now, that if I talk to 5 people in a day on the phone with all the tears & news, it wears me out even more., and I must rest a lot of the day. Perhaps soon I shall call some of you or perhaps even have you visit, but please wait until I contact you because I will then know my energy level. I promise I will read every one of your emails to me, or FB comments, but I can do that when I am up to it. So I ask you to honor those wishes for now.
I do hope that I have been a positive influence to my two boys, Brandon & Jordan, whom I love dearly. I also hope I have been a positive influence in some small way to all those friends & loved ones who I have shared this adventure called life. I am also thankful to all of you for your friendship and the many smiles you have brought to my life. When you think of me in the future, please think of the smiles, not any sadness. I am also deeply thankful to Connie & Byron who have moved to Florida and lived in my guest house to keep me battling this horrible disease.
I am still somewhat in shock, but I will find peace and positive in this even. All my life I have tried to inspire people to live more positively and more fully. Perhaps my last project here will be to show people how to die with dignity & grace.