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Dan Goldman - Husband and awesome father of two little girls is battling pancreatic cancer, and it is a good time to lend some support

On July 27, with no warning, Dan Goldman's official health status went from perfectly healthy to a diagnosis of Advanced, Localized Pancreatic Cancer. Dan's tumor measured more 3 centimeters across when it was detected. Despite various practitioners failing to see it in the past, it was, at more than an inch across, finally impossible to miss.

Please help Dan in his fight again Pancreatic Cancer by donating here. This is a vicious killer of a disease and takes down 95% of diagnosees within 5 years of diagnosis. But diagnosis typically occurs in patients around 72 years old. Dan was the picture of health at 41 when his news came--because of his age, he is outside every statistical cohort, and there are no survival percentages available.


While optimistic in terms of the final outcome, this episode has turned the Goldmans' universe upside-down. Their 4-year-old girl doesn't understand why Daddy needs to sleep in the special bed--just that it has something to do with his tummy-ache. Their 1-year-old thankfully has to be told nothing about anything yet. Worst of everything, though, is the lessening of time Dan can spend with the girls and how exhausted he gets when he used to be indefatigable when it came to them. These are years that don't come around twice, and they're being impinged upon by this most unwelcome visitor.

Dan is blindsided by walls of pain, some that continue for hours at a time--he has been hooked up to a backpack loaded with industrial-strength painkillers and a demand button. Worse than the pain is the nausea, for which there is no such "quick fix," and which has kept Dan from eating so much that he's down more than 30 pounds already. Needless to say, more and more of the kids' time is being turned over to various nannies--they have terrific care, but it's not cheap, and less so as it mounts in this situation where surprise trips to the ER are still commonplace.


The costs, in fact, are rising across the board--insurance companies have a way of categorizing certain treatments as medically necessary and others not so, but that way doesn't often match up with reality, and certainly doesn't touch the child therapy, or the Eastern medicine that Dan has signed on for as an adjunct to traditional Western treatment. And all this at a time when Dan's disability affords him a paycheck that is a fraction of his previous salary. So Dan and his family are struggling to stay in their house, to keep their help and to get Dan everything he needs to see him through to the other side of this ordeal.


Some brief backstory: In August of 2011, Dan was driving to a law school roommate's bachelor party in the Russian River, when he felt like he'd been stabbed in the ribs with an ice pick. He doubled over, but, as anyone who's faced that traffic out of the City and into Marin can tell you, blinding pain is by no means enough to stop someone from making the drive, which that day averaged 14 miles an hour. After the pain subsided, he went about his business; over the following few weeks and months it came back, masquerading as reflux, as heartburn, as some unknown allergy (to Sauternes?!?), but nothing definite.


That Christmas saw Dan in the ER for another ice-pick bout, this time wielded by someone with a real knack for stabbing. He was looked at, given too-weak pain meds, and released with no tests run--certainly not the CT Scan that would have turned up the by-now 5+-year-old cancerous tumor on his pancreas.


Months go by, more of the same. Finally, in June, after cold sweats at the keyboard, dissociative episodes and pain shooting up into his ribs lighting up his nerve endings like a bramblebush, Dan took the radical step of seeing a General Practitioner for the first time in 7 or 8 years. GP told Dan he had Irritable Bowel Syndrome and ordered ultrasound, which showed nothing of consequence. GP sent Dan to Gastroenterologist who put Dan on low dose of anti-depressants to "clear up the mind-gut connection." That resulted in a night of the worst pain so far, and to GP finally agreeing to a CT Scan, because "it'll be nice to be able to rule things out."


At this point in late July, Dan has known in his gut for almost two months that he has cancer--and, lo and behold, that's what the CT tells us. The GP and Gastro are fired in short order and replaced by the UCLA Pan Can team--one of the top in the world--and Dan's cancer treatment is now in the best hands. He's being treated aggressively with a brilliant newer protocol at the hands of Dr. William Isacoff.


The Goldmans need your help. Please, if you can find it within yourself to give anything--big or small--to help Dan's treatment, please do it here. Any help at all will move Dan one step closer to being rid of this thing and back with his family and friends where he belongs.
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