November 19 Update – THANK YOU!

For those of you still checking in, we just want to say a heartfelt thank you for your support throughout this last 18 months. It’s been a tough road, but knowing you were there for us made a big  difference.

Thank you to the hundreds of you who came out on Friday to celebrate Brandon’s life. The property manager of the venue told us that was the largest crowd they’d ever had for a celebration of life. We loved hearing your stories about Brandon. Friends who hadn’t seen or talked to Brandon since he was in high school came out. Teammates (and parents of teammates) from his American Legion baseball teams came out. The only downside of having such a huge turnout is that we didn’t get a chance to visit with each of you personally.

Thank you to those of you who have sent cards and made donations to Brandon’s memorial fund for Avery and to the church or various cancer funds on Brandon’s behalf. We continue to be overwhelmed at the number of people who truly care about Brandon and about his family. We got a card today from a Teva patient in California who used to talk to Brandon on the phone when he was a PCCR. Brandon touched so many lives, both near and far. It’s amazing.

It’s difficult to put into words how it makes us feel to know what an impact Brandon made on so many.

Thank you again for everything!

November 12 Update – Celebration of Life

Brandon Michael Whetsel, 37, of Lee’s Summit, MO, passed away on November 11, 2018,  at home with his family after an 18-month battle with peritoneal mesothelioma. He was born on January 16, 1981, at Research Medical Center in Kansas City, MO, and was an only child to Tonya and Jim Whetsel. Brandon was an avid sports fan and enjoyed watching the Chiefs, Royals and Missouri Tigers. He played baseball, basketball and football while growing up and through his years at Raytown High School. Brandon was employed by Teva Pharmaceuticals/AssistRX. He was a member of Summit Park Church in Lee’s Summit. Brandon’s engaging smile and fun-loving personality drew people to him. He loved his family and friends deeply, and we will miss him every single day.

Brandon will be lovingly remembered by his wife and best friend, Kristen, and daughters, Avery and Kayleigh.  He also leaves behind his parents, Tonya and Jim; his parents-in-law, Debbie and Greg Cardona; his grandmother, Marge Whetsel; and many other family members and friends.

Brandon was preceded in death by his Granny and Papa, Dorothea and Roy Pendergist; his grandmother, Adalyn Holdshoe; and his grandfather, Ray Whetsel.

A family-friendly celebration of Brandon’s life will be held on Friday, November 16, from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Yellow Rock Barn, 8307 Westridge Rd, Raytown, MO 64138. Family and friends are invited to wear their favorite Chiefs, Royals or Mizzou gear in his memory. (No KU gear, please. ?) Memorial donations may be made to the Brandon Whetsel Memorial Fund (for the benefit of Avery Whetsel) at UMB Bank by visiting any branch or by mail at UMB Bank, Mailstop 1020601, PO Box 419226, Kansas City, MO 64141-6226; to Summit Park Church at 2818 NE Independence Ave, Lee’s Summit, MO 64064; or to the cancer organization of your choice.

We would like to thank Brandon’s care team at KU Cancer Center and at KC Hospice and Palliative Care. Special thanks to his nurse, Kim, who cared for him in his final weeks.

November 11 Update

Brandon transitioned from his home here to his eternal home early this morning. The last two days were a struggle for him, but his passing was peaceful. He was with his family and surrounded by love. He is free of pain, nausea and fatigue now, and cancer has no hold over him.

We are working on arrangements for his celebration of life and hope to finalize the plan tomorrow. We will post here as soon as we have the details.

Our love for Brandon will never fade, and we will miss him every day. We are so appreciative of the support of family and friends during this difficult time.

 

November 8 Update

Brandon is sleeping most of the time and not able to talk much. If you’ve tried to text or call him in the last couple of days, that’s why he hasn’t responded. He seems comfortable now, after a day or two of being restless and uncomfortable. He told his nurse this morning that he’s not fearful of what lies ahead.

Please keep him in your prayers as he travels the road to his eternal home.

November 4 Update

Although we haven’t seen any improvement in Brandon’s symptoms, he has been able to rally a couple of times to take part in special events this week. He made it out to trick or treat with Avery for a short while on Halloween.

And he had some special visitors come by his house on Thursday with a meaningful gift signed by Patrick Mahomes!

Thank you so much to Mollie and Scott and anyone else who played a role in getting this done. It was so great to see Brandon smile.

We had a Christmas dinner yesterday, although Brandon was only able to eat a few bites. Brandon is still a child when it comes to Christmas, so the tree is already up at his house. Bryan made sure that the lights were up outside in time for dinner as well, and we are so appreciative. Two of Brandon’s neighbors decided to join in and put their lights up as well, which is very thoughtful of them!

Thank you to each and every one of you who has taken the time to deliver food, offer to help in any way, coordinate special events, and many, many more things. This is a very difficult path for our family, and it helps knowing you are there.

 

October 31 Update

Brandon is settling in with hospice. The nurse comes daily at this point, and she is fantastic. She’s a compassionate, friendly, genuine person, and he really likes her. That’s such a blessing for all of us. Brandon’s pain level seems better at times, but they would like to see it diminished further. He’s very tired, and the number of medications he’s taking adds to that. The nausea is still an issue, and the nurse is trying everything to get that under control.

Kristen began her leave from work to be home with him this week. His hospice nurse was very worried about him being home alone, and we had been trying to juggle our schedules to have one of us there as much of the time as possible. The meal train also started this week, and that’s been a huge help for our family! Sometimes you don’t realize how taking just one thing off your “to do” list helps, but not having to think about what to put on the table for dinner is much appreciated.

 

October 26 Update

Thank you to everyone who has called or messaged over the last few days. We are truly fortunate to have so many supportive people in our lives. Some of you who have reached out to Brandon personally may not have heard back from him. Just know that this week is particularly “busy” for him as the hospice care team sets up his treatment plan. Hopefully, things will settle into a new routine once they get his medications worked out to manage his symptoms. It’s a trial and error process, but it seems to be coming together.

 

October 23 Update

Brandon has made the decision to go into hospice care at home as of today. His health is clearly not improving, and making the trips to KU Cancer Center for treatments that are not making him feel better takes every ounce of energy he has. He just wants to be with his family and be comfortable.

Please continue to keep him in your prayers for peace of mind and comfort as he goes forward. None of us can begin to imagine how it feels to have to make this decision at 37 years old. All we can do is love him and support him.

October 22 Update & Thank You

Brandon didn’t have a great weekend. He is continuing to lose weight and sleeps more often. He’s always tired, no matter how much sleep he gets, and controlling the pain is becoming more difficult. He hasn’t been able to keep food down, although he still tries to eat. The doctor said he might need to be admitted to the hospital if he got to a point where he couldn’t keep anything down, but Brandon just wants to be comfortable at home. You can’t blame him.

We wanted to follow up Brandon’s post with a thank you of our own to everyone who came out to see him and support him last weekend. The turnout was truly amazing, especially with the cold weather and pouring rain. We were so touched by the number of people who care about him and shared their “Brandon” stories with us. We wanted to share a few pictures, especially for those of you who weren’t able to make it. The number of people in the group picture doesn’t even reflect half of the number who came out. So many friends, so much love!

October 17 – Post from Brandon

Thank you to everyone who came out on Sunday night. It was so overwhelming to see everyone. I am so thankful for each and every one of you. It was the best night I’ve had in the last 6 months, and I’m not even kidding. I would really like to thank everyone who had a hand in putting it together as well. You guys did an amazing job. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.