I was diagnosed with cancer the day after my son was born, September 6, 2007. At the time, they were unaware what kind of cancer I had and treated me with treatments for an unknown primary that was metastatic to my liver. I underwent two rounds of chemotherapy with no success of shrinking the tumors. After the second round of chemotherapy, I had a severe allergic reaction that landed me in the hospital and I nearly lost my life. My white blood cell count was so low, if I would have waited one more day, I wouldn’t be here today.
With an infant at home, I fought like never before. In February, 2008, I had surgery to remove 40 percent of my liver. Going into the surgery, they knew of three tumors on my liver that totaled 15 cm. Coming out of surgery, the surgeon told me that he found a total of five tumors, four of which were cancerous and one was benign. At that time, they looked at what was removed and discovered it was a neuroendocrine cancer with an unknown primary that metastasized to my liver. I endured another round of chemotherapy ending on May 2, 2008.
In January, 2009, I went back for another scan and they discovered a new growth on what they thought was my mesenteric lymph node. After two-and-a-half years of testing and watching this spot, I decided I didn’t want to live with this disease, as small as it was. I found a surgical oncologist who was willing to operate and remove the disease.
On September 19, 2011, I had surgery to remove the spot and it was then, they discovered I had a pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer. This spot was not located on my mesenteric lymph node after all, but it was actually on the tip of my pancreas, which they removed. It was then they realized this was the primary site they were unable to see all these years.
Two years post-surgery, six years post-diagnosis, and I am a survivor of pancreatic cancer! In the end, I have realized that my son saved my life. If I would have never gotten pregnant with him, it may have been too late to do anything about the tumors. After all, it was the hormones from the pregnancy that encouraged the tumors to grow as rapidly as they did. My son saved my life and I am now living every day for him. He is my angel!
During my fight, my motto has always been, “I have cancer, it will NEVER have me!” I truly believe that attitude is half the battle.