148 results found


Survivor Story: Jenifer Middleton
I am now a 9-year survivor of pancreatic adenocarcinoma – the fast growing kind of pancreatic cancer. But my life felt drastically threatened in September 2006 when I was diagnosed with a 4.5 cm tumor on the tail of my pancreas. I learned about it in a very unusual way, and I realize now that there were many "little miracles" that helped me along the way. At the time, I was going about my life raising three children and a niece, working as a registered nurse and receiving treatment from a rheumatologist for what we thought was...

Survivor Story: Derek Rowell
In the spring of 2014, I was a 70-year-old engineering professor looking forward to retirement at the end of the year. In April, I started to experience abdominal discomfort across the bottom of my rib cage. At first I ignored it, but it became progressively worse. I also noticed I was losing weight. I saw a doctor at the end of June on a Thursday, and he suggested I get a CT scan, which I had on Friday morning. In the evening, the doctor called to say that the scan had revealed a "significant mass" on my pancreas. I asked if it was cancer, and he replied...

Survivor Story: Suzanne Mitchell
I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in July 2013 and I’ve opted not to have treatment beyond the Whipple surgery I had in August of that year. Instead, I’m fighting the disease on my own terms and am enjoying each moment of every day — traveling, reading, spending time with friends and doing many of the things I never had time to do until now. During the 14 years I spent with the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders – I was their first-ever director – I often told the girls that, “It’s not what happens to you ... it’s what happens through...

Survivor Story: Jonathan O'Riordan
I am 39 and I was diagnosed with metastatic adenocarcinoma of the pancreas four weeks ago. Before I tell my story, I want to say that reading the other survivor stories has touched me deeply. I read them through floods of tears of solidarity. You are all amazing, strong and incredible people. Thank you for sharing your stories. They have given me immense hope. My diagnosis was rather protracted, having come after months of illness and hospital stays. It began with ferocious body itching, diarrhea, dark urine and abdominal pain that was not diagnosed...

Survivor Story: Schanna Bodkin
Beginning in 2010, I started having pancreatitis, which resulted in two hospital stays. Scans showed an area of concern on my pancreas. After having my gallbladder removed and two biopsies, both of which came back inconclusive, my doctor took a "wait and see" approach. But it wasn't until my physician gave the green light to go on a cruise that my life became a nightmare. I ended up in the ship's infirmary with yet another bout of pancreatitis. I was taken off the ship by ambulance and transported to one of only two hospitals on the island of St. Maarten. Five...

Survivor Story: Mary Beth Campbell
I would love to tell you all why I Wage Hope. I am a 13-year survivor of pancreatic cancer. I am very blessed. Not many people survived this deadly disease in 2002. I was fortunate to be diagnosed early. My only symptom was maddening itching. No jaundice was obvious, but my lab test reflected a bile duct obstruction. My smart doctor called me in for an immediate CT scan, which showed a 2.5-centimeter tumor. Then the treatment started. First, we knew a good surgeon who performed the well-known Whipple procedure. The next step after recovery was to...

Survivor Story: Philip Zeblisky
In May 2014, I was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic adenocarcinoma. The first sign that there was something wrong came just five weeks earlier when I started to experience symptoms of jaundice, which turned out to be caused by a small tumor at the head of my pancreas. Initially, the prognosis was stage 2 cancer, and a Whipple procedure was attempted. However, during the surgery a metastasis was identified, and the surgery was aborted. The prognosis after surgery was not good. I was effectively told that I should get my affairs in order, and if I...

Survivor Story: Melissa Kartasevich
I am 40 years old and a one year-plus survivor. My story starts April 2013. I woke up in the morning with pain and discomfort in my left side. Thinking it was from sleeping in a bad position, I just took some pain medicine and went to work. By lunch time, the pain had not gone away, and it was slightly worse. Knowing my body and knowing it was an unusual pain, I left work and headed to the ER. The doctors ran some tests and performed a CAT scan, where they saw that my spleen had infracted. But they did not know what had caused it. They kept me in the...

Survivor Story: John O'Grady
I have always been a person who likes to do things for myself. I love to hike, backpack, kayak and bike ride. Even in my work – I work independently throughout the mid-Atlantic region servicing various accounts. I have always been able to confront a situation, develop a plan, initiate that plan and solve the problem without much help from others. In 2010, all that changed with a simple slight pain in my right side. My doctor told me to lay off fried foods, thinking the pain was probably my gallbladder. That worked for a while. The pain came...

Survivor Story: Rich Gary
It’s funny how life can change in an instant. I was 52 years old and married to a wonderful woman. We had four children and seven grandchildren. I was at the top of my profession and the worship leader/pastor at our church. Our life was full of family, friends and serving God. On April 28, 2014, all of that changed. I went into the emergency room with a stomachache and dark urine. The doctor ordered an MRI, and at approximately three o’clock that afternoon I was told I only had six months to live. I had stage 4 pancreatic cancer that had metastasized...

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