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CAROL MACKIN


Hello fellow PC and Caretakers, My name is Carol Mackin. I am 43 years old and I live in San Diego. My caretakers name is Jack Robinson (55) and we are engaged as of last October 97. I was dx w/ pc in May of 97. The discovery of the tumor is quite miraculous, as is my entire adventure w/ this disease. I went to a Dr I had NEVER SEEN BEFORE for my annual pshyical. I was strong, healthy and feeling fine. (In retrospect I now remember feeling tired and my urine was a little dark yellow ("probably something I ate"). My wonderful dr."thought I didn't look right" and asked for my test to come back that day. High enzymes were found in my blood and he thought I had, you quessed it, hepatitas! He ordered an ultrasound and when that cleared the hepatitas he then ordered a CT. "You don't have hi enzymes in your blood for no reason!" (Isn't he great, and remember I was healthy and strong 43 year old!). The CT, of course, found the 3.5 cm tumor in the head (Thank God!). Four days later I had the Whipple. Good news:tumor removed, no blood loss, no infections, no complications. Bad news:mets to the lymph nodes. Released from hospital 13 days later. A few weeks later I started treatments: Rads (28 sessions) and chemo (first week for four 24 hour days and again the last week of rads four 24 hour days). Then after a short recovery, 6 more months of 5FU and lecavorian. Jack, my caretaker, was a blessing from God. He was (and still is) wonderful and supportive. I'll always remember him saying to me "It's OK how you're feeling. You're going through some really tough treatments" So now matter how I was feeling, sick, sad, depressed, crying, whatever, he always told me it was OK. I wanted to apologize for being depressed or crying. Ya' know, not feeling grateful, but he was right the treatments are hard to take, although worth it, I believe. I had fantastic and caring dr's. All of them were upfront and honest, yet willing to help me fight. I still see my onc. every 90 days for my CA19-9 (last one in Oct 98, still below 9 and in remission!). I KNOW the ultimate outcome. Only by chance and grace of God do we survive this cancer. But I have been alive and cancer free now for 1.7 months and I thank and priase God everyday for it. I have been making excellent use of my time. I'm an active member on the funds and awareness committee for PC research. I held a fund raiser golf tourny in SD and raised $10,000 for Johns Hopkins. I have written my story and it's been published in Real Woman magzine (e/m me your name & address for a copy and I'll send it to you or go to www.realwomanmag.com for story but no pictures Nov.Dec issue). Three stories have been published in local papers (e/m me your name & address if you'd like a copy) about my fund raising efforts and my cancer story. So I feel good about what I am doing with my time. I feel most fortunate b/c I have not had ANY complications (big enough to mention) but I also feel apprehensive about sharing, due to so many who suffer from pain or have complications from surgery or treatments. I have mixed feelings of a need to share good news giving hope and empathy for those in pain. I am currently cancer free, but each day I still think of the probability of its return. This is the one side effect I do share with all PC, I'd imagine. It is tormenting. 3.5 more years of waiting, not knowing if and when. It is the hardest part of all of this. I'm open to e/m from any of you, we are a rare group and it is nice to know we can be in touch with each other for moral support and just knowing how it can be.Caretakers can reach Jack at RLTORJACK@AOL.COM May God continue to bless us all and may we, along with God's help find a cure and early detection. If not for us, then for those who will be dx later. With love, Carol


Posted 12/17/1998 11:52 am by CAROL
E-mail Address: AKACMAC@AOL.COM

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