Jerry Buck is a handsome and charming man who looks at least 10 years younger
than his age of 77. Jerry and his wife Joyce of 56 years moved with their
two children from Winnipeg in 1964 and have called Santa Barbara home
Before Jerry was diagnosed with mesothelioma, he was enjoying his retirement
with Joyce, often taking road trips in their RV and exploring the beach
and mountains surrounding their home.
When he was just 15, Jerry began working for his father who was a blacksmith,
welder and ironworker. He grew up to learn his father’s trade, and
worked as an ironworker for 41 years until he retired at the age of 56.
When Jerry first began experiencing respiratory issues in the fall of 2010
he paid a visit to his doctor. After taking some x-rays of Jerry’s
chest, his doctor referred him to pulmonologist Dr. David Zisman at the
Sansum Clinic in Santa Barbara. Dr. Zisman ran additional radiology scans
and found that Jerry had fluid building up in his chest. In October of
2010, Jerry underwent the first of many thoracentesis, removing one liter
of fluid from his chest. Cytological analysis of the fluid came back negative
Jerry had fluid drained from his chest two more times before being referred
to thoracic surgeon Dr. Phillip West at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.
In April of 2011, Dr. West performed a talc pleurodesis and biopsy of
Jerry’s right pleura. Analysis of the tissues again failed to reveal
a malignancy. Jerry was closely monitored and underwent a battery of tests
with no clear diagnosis of what was causing Jerry’s respiratory issues.
Jerry returned to see Dr. Zisman in August of 2012 when the fluid had again
returned. After a PET scan revealed pleural thickening and pleural nodules,
Jerry’s biopsy from April of 2011 was sent to the Mayo Clinic in
Scottsdale, Arizona for further analysis. The Mayo clinic performed immunohistochemical
staining and Jerry, two years after his respiratory issues began, was
finally diagnosed with right-sided malignant pleural mesothelioma.
Jerry was subsequently referred to oncologist Dr. Gregg Newman at the Sansum
Clinic who told him, “I’m not a surgeon, but I would like
to call Dr. Cameron in Los Angeles at UCLA and see whether he can help
you." Jerry met with mesothelioma specialist
Dr. Robert Cameron in September of 2012, who determined that he was a candidate for the
pleurectomy/decortication surgery (P/D).
“Our heartfelt thanks and appreciation go out to all staff members
who were involved in our case.” Jerry and Joyce Buck
Jerry underwent the P/D surgery in October of 2012. He underwent an additional
surgery three days after to repair damage he had received to his diaphragm
during his P/D. After a three week break, Jerry returned to UCLA to undergo
radiation treatments. Fortunately, post-surgical biopsies showed no evidence
of residual disease. Dr. Cameron advised Jerry that in the event of his
cancer returning, they will treat him with cryoblation and interferon
injections. Jerry continues to be monitored with CT scans every three months.
Jerry and Joyce were very appreciative of the representation they received
from Worthington & Caron P.C. and their team. "The compassion
we received was beyond anything we could have expected.” Says Joyce,
“We felt a reassuring degree of protection in what was a stressful
environment during the courtroom proceedings.”
This past April Jerry developed a fungal infection in his lungs and has
undergone two operations to try and alleviate his symptoms. He has good
days and bad days, his loving wife Joyce by his side everyday taking care
of him. “He would do the same for me,” she says, “We
just take each day one at a time.”
His biggest concern since his diagnosis had been for Joyce and his children,
and not being able to offer them the same support he always has. Jerry
always did everything around the house, and always liked to have some
project or another going. It has been very tough for him to not have the
same level of energy as prior to his illness.
It has been almost a year since his surgery and Jerry’s mesothelioma
has not returned. Even in the midst of his difficult health issues, for
that him and Joyce are very grateful.
*** Posted on October 16, 2013 ***
*** Jerry Buck passed away on January 24, 2014 ***