Bear Dalton Health Update

Dear Friends,

I’m posting this because so many people are inquiring that it’s difficult to answer everyone. I am humbled by and deeply appreciate all the prayers and concern. Please feel free to share this.

The old news:
I first realized I had a problem early on the morning of Monday January 29th. Carol drove me to the Methodist emergency room with what I thought was appendicitis. After a CT scan, I was diagnosed with stage-four colon cancer which got me quickly admitted to Methodist hospital. After a day-and-half of scans and tests, pokes and prods, Dr. Eric Haas and his team operated on me beginning at about 4:30pm on Wednesday Jan 31. During the four-hour surgery, they took out a grapefruit-sized tumor and about a foot of colon (along with my appendix and some lymph nodes) and rerouted my plumbing. The labs came back with clean margins so they feel like the got out all the cancer in my gut.
I had a follow up appointment with Dr. Haas last Thursday and got nothing but good news. He said I am 7-10 days ahead of schedule on healing from the surgery. We are working on getting scheduled to reconnect all the plumbing.

Maybe you knew most of that before now. Here’s the new stuff:
Tuesday (2/20) I had a needle biopsy on one of two spots in my liver. Today (Friday, February 23) I had an appointment with my oncologist Dr. Monisha Singh who gave me the unwelcome-but-not-unexpected news that the colon cancer had spread to my liver so I will need chemo-therapy (beginning in mid-April) and some other follow up. I was hoping that wouldn’t be the case but it was not unexpected.
We are getting everything (reconnection surgery and chemo) scheduled around a couple of wine business trips to Europe in April and May. We have a plan. The doctors and the rest of the care team has been great; Carol and I are becoming huge fans of Methodist.

So my energy level improves almost daily. Since I was released from the hospital on the afternoon of February 6th, I’ve walked at least 2 miles every day the weather has permitted; Scout and I walked 3.3 miles today.  And I am really enjoying cooking my own dinners again. Thank you to everyone who has offered to bring food but cooking is a passion for me and I am quite enjoying indulging it. I cooked seared salmon, a sweet potato, and shiso peppers for dinner tonight as Carol – my “health care pit bull” – was at St. Luke’s visiting her only-marginally-more-cooperative-than-me mother Nancy who is once more rallying.  I still get tired sooner than my normal but that’s improving. I’m learning to eat a bit differently to accommodate my modified plumbing. I’m going back to work at Spec’s on Monday and am anxious to get back in the saddle. There have been silver linings: Since the surgery, I have experienced no back pain. And I am steadily losing weight (I now weigh less than I have in over 30 years). On March 3rd, I plan to walk (not run) in the Houston Area Women’s Center’s 5K Race Against Violence. (The Houston Area Women’s Center and ECHOS are my two dearest causes so I’m doing what I can to help and hope you will too. Please click this link for more info on that:

Also, please join me on March 6th for our rescheduled 2015 Mostly Cru Classé Bordeaux Tasting at the Crystal Ballroom at the Rice. This is an amazing opportunity to taste 60+ fine Bordeaux wines from the excellent 2015 vintage.

So that’s the whole dang deal. Everything is positive (my blood type and life philosophy are the same: B+). With God’s help, we will beat this. Please keep me and Carol and Nancy in your prayers. Wishing all of you all the best.

Thanks be to God.


19 thoughts on “Bear Dalton Health Update

  1. Fran and I praying for you I know you are tough and God will look over you in these trying times. Your attitude is great and that is very positive and with Carol by your side you can beat this beast. God bless you and give you strength to win this battle.

  2. With Gods help, ours and all of your many caring friends prayers, an expert team of doctors and nurses, and your positive mindset and willpower we will celebrate soon the old new Bear back in the saddle. You’re on of a kind.
    God bless y’all.

  3. Bears are strong so I’m sure you’ll come out of this better than ever! Houston is one of the best, if not the best, places on earth to work this so I’m sure you’re in good hands. Take it slow and easy, we’ll all be here when you’re ready to “partay” again :). You’re in my thoughts and prayers, Mike


  4. Bear,
    Thanks for the update and we all share your positive attitude. The doctors and people at Methodist are great Since Carol has you getting so healthy, with your weight loss we might begin to think about calling you “Cub” rather than “Bear.”

    All the best,

  5. So sorry to hear…….knowing you have great care and family Support. Our Thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Best, Deirdre DeDe Conley Sent from my iPhone


  6. Hello Bear,

    Thanks for your update – it sounds very positive.

    Bill and I wish you the best of care and healing!

    Stay strong,



  7. If anyone can get through this you can! I’m amazed at the recovery you’ve made and your resilience. Keep making future plans, keep being optimistic and keep being the Bear we all know and love! My hopes and prayers are with you for a full recovery, you got this. I love you my dear friend..

  8. So sorry you are having major health issues. Just to let you know my mother had colon cancer and when they found it, it had spread to her stomach. That was about 25 years ago. She is 98 now. We are thinking of you.

    Mary Foote

  9. Life is sometimes difficult, but you have great spirit, great support and the love of a great God!! Praying for you, your family and your health care team. Take care of yourself with all your good cooking, good exercise and enjoying the company of good family and friends.

  10. You are definitely still in my daily prayers Bear. You are strong and you have lots of love and support from your family, friends, church and God. Your spirits are high and that’s a great thing. We all love you Bear! Stay strong and positive. God will do his part.

  11. Nothing but Love and Prayers for you old guy (Hell how can I call you old when we are about the same age). It has been my honor and my (sometimes) pleasure to learn from you. Even when your driving and singing Country Music in the backroads of Bordeaux(–; . I will see you next week at the tasting and bring some pictures of the Baby and maybe even a couple decent jokes.

    May our Lord keep you and hold you and your family close to his heart.

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