148 results found


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....

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...

Clinical Trial Survivor Story: Patricia Theobald
I was diagnosed in March of 2013 as stage IV, 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 now a year-and-a-half from diagnosis.  The original tumor has not been...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Survivor Story: Shelby Mclean
In 2010, during Thanksgiving dinner, I was having really bad pain in my stomach. I knew something was not right, but I put off going to my doctor – I thought, ok it's just the flu? I started dropping weight quickly in January – like 25lbs. I couldn't eat or drink and I was jaundiced in my eyes and all over my body. I went back to my doctor, and she said to go to the emergency room ASAP!! I had an endoscopic ultrasound and it showed that my bile ducts were blocked. I had an ERCP scope down my throat five times. They found the tumor. I had the...

Survivor Story: Scherry Samuels
My husband and I were on vacation in Florida in January, 2013, when I started itching. It was uncontrollable, middle of the night, holding a bag of frozen veggies to calm my hands itching. Believing I had an allergic reaction to something, I went to a walk-in clinic and was prescribed medication for the itch. I’d been to the doctor multiple times for months just feeling ‘off’ — general lethargy, depression that came and went, digestive issues, but nothing showed up in tests. After we moved on to the next campground I got a call to go to the...

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