67-year-old Randolph "Randy" Wilson and his wife, Christine, moved to Lubbock in March to retire, a way to spend more time with their only daughter and first grandchild. Since their move, Christine says their life has changed dramatically.
"We went from being perfectly healthy, feeling great, to turning yellow and being told you're terminal or close to terminal," Christine said.
Randy Wilson was diagnosed with stage 3 pancreatic cancer in late July, and is now in home hospice, after one bypass surgery and two failed rounds of what his wife says was the strongest form of chemotherapy.
Pancreatic cancer is called the "silent killer" and Dr. Edwin Onkendi, at the UMC Cancer Center, says there are many reasons it's hard to diagnose.
"The location of the pancreas in the abdomen is a difficult area to illicit symptoms and signs from. Unfortunately for pancreas cancer we don't have a particular screening test, like breast cancer or cervical cancer," Onkendi said.
Onkendi says early detection is key for long-term survival, but this only happens for 20-25 percent of patients. He says symptoms can include mid-back pain, nausea, weight loss and fatigue.
"Don't dismiss any worrisome symptoms, especially persistent symptoms, and if you go to a care-giver and you feel like you don't have the answers, the full answers for it, you can seek a second opinion," Onkendi said.
When Randy was diagnosed, doctors said he had about 2 weeks to 3 months to live. After about 4 months, his wife says they've been blessed with the time left they still have with him and want to help those less fortunate.
She and her daughter, Alex McMillan, have donated through the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and want to stay involved in bringing awareness to the disease.
"If we could help one other family not deal with this type of devastation," Christine said.
"Although our story doesn't necessarily have a happy ending it doesn't have to be that way for other people's families necessarily," McMillan said.
One of Randy's final wishes was to see his home decorated for Christmas, and Alex and her friends worked to make that happen.
The family says they've received support from old and new friends throughout their journey.
"His healing probably will not be here on earth," Christine said.
"We've never been alone," McMillan said.
Christine says after Randy passes, she knows she will see her husband again.