Leonard Ferguson II
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My father, Leonard Ferguson II, was diagnosed with Stage 4 Colon Cancer on September 21, 2015. The cancer metastasized to his liver. Given this diagnosis, his treatment options were very limited. We were advised that he would never be cured and the cancer would only, if at all, be reduced in size with chemotherapy. In September 2015, he underwent surgery to remove the tumor in his colon and started chemotherapy in October 2015 to reduce the size of the tumors in his liver. Over the next 3 years, he would undergo a new chemotherapy regimen every few months as the cancer would become resistant to the medications. In the Spring of 2018, he underwent a Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT) procedure after another regimen of chemotherapy became resistant. The SIRT procedure involved surgically placing microscopic radiation beads into the arteries of his liver, with hope the beads would reduce the size of the tumors by destroying the cancer cells. In August 2018, my father and mother were advised that the cancer did not respond well to the procedure and the tumors had spread to his lungs. He was offered to try another regimen of chemotherapy. Not wanting to lose hope that he lost this battle, he tried the new chemotherapy regimen, but after a few weeks he decided the side effects impacted his quality life too much. He advised his oncologist he no longer wanted to do the chemotherapy, who informed him the only other option available to was determining if he was eligible for a clinical trial. In October of 2018, my father decided to stop all treatment and sought only palliative care. For the next several months, his health slowly declined; his liver started to shut down due to the overgrowth of cancer tumors. He got even more fatigued, he was sick all the time, he lost a significant amount of weight. But he remained HOPEFUL! Because of this never-ending hope, he never sought hospice care. He wasn’t ready to accept his prognosis and continued to HOPE for a miracle.
My father never gave up the HOPE that one day he would be cured of this terrible disease. He fought with courage and determination through all the chemotherapy side effects; the fatigue, the nausea and vomiting, the weight loss, the hair loss, the neuropathy, the anxiety, the depression, the constant pain. Even on his bad days, he remained optimistic and tried to live life as normal as possible and the best he could. He continued to work, he continued to manage household tasks, he continued to help others as he always had. He continued to enjoyed all what life had offered to him, fishing, hunting, treasure finding, Rock N Roll, traveling, and best of all family and friends. My father and mother lived life to the fullest, and together they remained hopeful, supporting each other through good times and bad times, having unconditional love for each other. Side by side they fought this battle together and remained HOPEFUL!
My father fought this battle against colon cancer for 3.5 years, throughout it all he always stayed strong for his family; never giving up hope or showing fear of his prognosis. In the end, all he hoped for was to be a candidate for new liver so that him and my mother could grow old together, he could continue to provide for his family and eventually retire one day, and so that he could watch all of his 18 grandchildren grow up.
Unfortunately, my father lost his battle to Stage 4 colon cancer on February 11, 2019 due to hepatic renal failure. He passed away in his home surrounded by his loved ones, just as he wanted. He was comfortable and went peacefully.
In honor of my father, I would like to contribute to colon cancer research any way I can and bring awareness to all people about this preventable and treatable disease. If caught early, colon cancer may be curable; treatment options change drastically depending upon the stage when diagnosed. My ultimate goal would be to help change the available treatment options for those who are diagnosed with advanced disease.
Any support is appreciated, even just sharing information regarding colon cancer and bringing awareness.
Thank you for your support,
Natasha Ferguson & the family of Leonard Ferguson II