story-julie-gurneyMy father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on October 17, 2014. Of course, my entire family was shocked, terrified and devastated to find out. Before the diagnosis, he had been feeling dizzy, and his stool was bloody. His initial diagnosis was actually an upper gastrointestinal bleed.

But to treat the cancer, my father immediately started chemotherapy, which he went through for approximately six to eight weeks. Then, he endured six weeks of daily radiation. As you can imagine, this rigorous treatment was extremely difficult on him.

At the time of his diagnosis, his tumor was borderline resectable. After treatment, it was the same prognosis. On May 4, 2015, my father had the Whipple procedure. It was 11 hours long, and the recovery was very slow and very painful. After the surgeon removed the tumor, he told us that it was a neuroendocrine tumor, as opposed to adenocarcinoma. Neuroendocrine tumors represent less than 5 percent of all pancreatic tumors.

After a long recovery, and my father losing about 50 pounds or more, I am beyond ecstatic to report that he is cancer free! I am sharing our story so that others who receive the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer see that miracles do happen, and there is reason to be hopeful.

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