148 results found

Survivors

Survivor Stories: Clinical Trials Participant - Ken Douglass
In the fall of 1999, my brother-in-law was found to have a mass in his pancreas. After an unsuccessful Whipple surgery, he enrolled in a clinical trial using radiation plus chemotherapy. This shrunk the tumor so a second Whipple surgery was successful.  He lived 12 more years and passed from stomach cancer.Then, in January of 2013, I had a CT scan following abdominal surgery that showed a mass on my pancreas. After a biopsy confirmed that this was cancerous, I was enrolled in a clinical trial consisting of chemotherapy before and...
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Survivor Stories - Clinical Trials Participant: Richard Valdes
It all started in late 2011 with a minor discomfort just above my stomach. When I went for my annual physical in February 2012, I mentioned my minor discomfort and my doctor got right on it. After almost a year of trying to diagnose my "gastric" discomfort, a blood test was done to check my liver activity. It was high, so in January of 2013 I had a CT scan. It was then that the mass on the tail of my pancreas was discovered. It was like a ton of bricks landed on my shoulders. The doctor was quick to add that it was isolated and surgery could remove...
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Survivor Story: Michael Turek
I was diagnosed on September 30, 2013 with a tumor in the head of the pancreas with blood vessel involvement, but no spread to other organs.  Non-resectable.  Since then I have had treatment with a combination of three chemotherapy drugs for several months for 4-5 hours every two weeks, followed by 46 hours of being on a chemotherapy pump.  I then had radiation over 6 weeks.  Then I had more chemotherapy, this time a combination of two chemotherapy drugs for 2 months.  My CA 19-9 marker kept going down and is currently 45. Through all of this I...
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Updated Survivor Story: Peter Suess
I’m 68 and a 5-year-plus survivor!  My story started in June of 2009.  I was feeling very sluggish while on vacation with my family in Galveston, TX.  I couldn’t take long walks on the beach because I was too tired.Besides the fatigue, I began to have other symptoms.  I had tremendous itching, some weight loss and my urine changed color. I called my family doctor because I thought I had a kidney or bladder infection. He noticed that I was turning jaundiced. He sent me to have a sonogram and...
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Clinical Trial Survivor Story: Patricia Theobald
I was diagnosed in March of 2013 as stage 4, with surgery not an option.  I was initially given four to six months, the standard prognosis for people in my situation.  I was 63 and about to have my first grandson in six months.  After educating myself, I opted to join a clinical trial that included standard chemotherapy.  I have been receiving standard chemotherapy every two weeks and an oral experimental drug each day since May of 2013. I am nearing my two year survivorship mark. The original tumor has not been growing, nor has the cancer been...
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Survivor Story: Julianne Silva

Diagnosed at 23 with pancreatic cancer was not part of my life's plan. Rather than allowing cancer to get the best of me, it in return gave me an unbreakable spirit. Cancer has given me several setbacks in life, but when I think about the person I might have become without this experience, I feel blessed for all that it has taught me about life and the person it has made me. I chose from day one, back in July of 2003, to be a survivor and that has never changed!

Survivor Story: Tonjia Vaughn
I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer only after having the Whipple surgery. The tumor was not showing on any CT scans or MRI. I was admitted to the ER, on January 10, 2011 and I was SEVERELY jaundiced (I had a blockage in my bile duct) and was very weak. I was blessed to have three Godsent doctors that took my life into their hands knowing I had no insurance and no way to pay for their services. I had the surgery on January 21, 2012 and they found a 1 cm tumor on the head of my pancreas. I was released on January 29, 2012 to start recovering and to begin...
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Survivor Story: Mark van der Sluis
In April 2012, I was admitted to the hospital because of my diverticulitis and a CT scan was recommended to see how bad it was. Upon inspecting the scan, the doctors noticed a sizeable mass on my pancreas which turned out to be a 3.8 cm neuroendocrine tumor. I had a Whipple procedure, which lasted just under 10 hours and required two surgeons. Recovery was long and difficult, but over the following months I was able to get some normality back into my life and I returned to work three months later. I just had my two year checkup...
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Survivor Story: Joe LaRose
I am a recent survivor - one year to be exact. I have a hard time telling my story, so I want to talk about it and the most impact I believe I can make is from the beginning. My wife literally saved my life! I was scheduled to get an endoscopy on April 30, 2013, simply for what we believed was acid reflux. Well, for the two weeks up to the test date, I was taking acid reducing medication and felt great. So the day before the test I told my wife, an orthopedic scrub nurse, that it makes sense not to go. I felt great, and the co-pay is $250.00. I am...
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Survivor Story: Gary Lipsey
I remember the date and the words spoken by the doctor at a cancer center in Tampa on November 18, 2009, "Mr. Lipsey, I am sorry to tell you that you have pancreatic cancer.” Those words hit my wife harder than they hit me, because as a hospice nurse, she knew what they really meant. I was kind of clueless about pancreatic cancer. I allowed myself a one-day pity party, then, not looking back, decided to be positive, proactive, and determined to beat this diagnosis. I found the pancan.org website and became much more informed about what was ahead of...
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