I was never sick a day in my 53-year life. I woke up jaundiced and went to the ER after my bloodwork came back negative for an infection. I had an endoscopy and my doctor informed me that I would need to see a pancreatic surgeon. I was referred to a high-volume hospital in New York. I met with a specialized pancreatic surgeon and he let me know that I was a candidate for the Whipple procedure. Because of medical insurance difficulties, I could not have surgery in New York. I was referred to another specialist in New Jersey. I had surgery on January 30, 2017 and had a second surgery January 31, 2017. I was in the hospital for 11 days and never complained. I had an amazing angel network of caregivers and a strong family support. I went home and waited for the next phase, which was chemotherapy. The process was difficult, but the will of each person striving to live each day inspired me. I am an extremely positive person by nature but was very humbled by this process. My body didn’t react very well, but we were getting great results. I couldn’t stop thinking of the others as I faced each daily challenge. The radiation process was less difficult, and got a little better each day. I went back to work and got back to my life five weeks after my surgery. This saved my life. I chose to live my life instead of feeling sorry for myself during this time. I wanted to show others that everyone can find a positive part of a bad day and situation. Now I am cancer free and so grateful for my unbelievable team of caregivers. We are now a forever family and I will always respect the fraternity of all cancer survivors. I am beyond grateful to have made it to be a survivor. I look forward to helping others during their darkest moment. A positive attitude is a great asset.
Connect with other survivors for information, support and inspiration through the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s Survivor & Caregiver Network.