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Pancreas Cancer

Greg was posted 05/29/2014 06:59 pm by Mary Y - PA
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I pondered before answering you, as indeed cancer does suck and this type of cancer sucks even more than most. We have the 4th deadliest type of cancer but are the least funded when it comes to research. Those 'in the know' tell us that our lifestyles -- obesity, smoking, and alcoholism -- are the primary reasons why we are more prone to get PC, BUT this is only speculation. I found out that my PC was hereditary. There is no definitive symptom or test available that can be attributed to PC alone, so we go through a battery of tests, knowing that this cancer is aggressive and time is NOT on our side. Then to realize that only a handful diagnosed will be eligible for the Whipple or Distal, but we have HOPE and we'll do everything and anything to stay alive. We celebrate even the smallest of good news and take bad news with some disappointment, BUT we still have HOPE spurring us on and this is ALL before undergoing the one of the most dangerous operations known to man.

After this operation -- whether it be a Whipple or a Distal -- we deal with a whole new set of health issues -- blood clots, cachexia, depression, eating disorders, gastroparesis, diabetes, diabetic neuropathy, obstructions, malnutrition/malnurishment, etc. These are on-going issues, they can be controlled with meds, but you don't just wake up on your 5th anniversary post dx or post surgery and they no longer exist. To me, the greatest pain is when your loved ones think you are lying because you are 'Cured' and compared to other cancers, you would be, but this is Pancreatic Cancer and it doesn't play by the rules.

PC Survivors ARE blessed and happy for every day we are still with our loved ones. In 2005 my children were 21, 17, 13 and 10 years old. Since then, I've been blessed by attending ALL of their school concerts, honors dinners, sports activities and graduations. I've been blessed by seeing them grow into responsible adults, seeing my oldest son join the Air Force, being there for his graduation from boot camp, marrying, buying his first house and presenting me with my first Grand child. My oldest daughter is currently a home nurse for my sister, my youngest son and daughter are attending college, with my son looking forward to owning his own construction company and my youngest daughter looking forward to becoming a Veterinarian. And, of course, the greatest joy is growing old with my love of 23 years, my husband. ALL of nine years of wonderful days, fraught with celebrations, Holidays and time spent with the most important people in my life -- my family; and along the way, I picked up a new family...those of us that have PC and their families. We come together as strangers, but soon become life-long members of a very special family.

So yes, it is not rosy when your realize you won't go back to normal health-wise; BUT when you weigh that with all of the good things you would have missed, you are extremely happy and thankful to be alive! Survivors smell one rose and then look forward to smelling the next.

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*DISCLAIMER: This page is an unmoderated forum, and the opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Patients are advised to consult their personal physicians before making any medical decisions.
FULL DISCLAIMER


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