Survivor Story: Wayne R. Peterson
In November of 2010, I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which had metastasized to the liver. There were three malignant tumors in the liver and one in the pancreas.
In late October 2010, I discovered a growth on my lower left leg that was, after an ultrasound, determined to be a blood clot. I was on blood-thinners for several years, so this should not have occurred. After further tests and biopsies, it was determined that the clot was caused by the tumors in the liver. We, then, had to determine where the cancer started and we found that the culprit was the pancreas. I was very healthy at the time, so we believe that worked in my favor.
My oncologist informed us that because the cancer had metastasized, we could not do surgery or radiation, only chemotherapy. I was offered, encouraged, to participate in a clinical research trial and agreed to do so. I started with chemo for seven straight weeks in a row and a daily pill.
The treatment was very successful; by the end of 2011 a CT scan showed no tumor on the pancreas and two of the three in the liver gone completely and the third was significantly smaller. However, in early 2012, the treatments started to take a serious toll on my body. During, February, March and April I was in the hospital several times. At the end of April, my primary care doctor recommended to my oncologist that I go off chemo and the research trial. My wife and I had planned to ask to do this anyway. We were looking for quality of life as long as possible. I went into a rehab hospital for eight days to regain strength.
Currently, I am doing fantastic. I go to my cancer clinic every two weeks to check my blood and will have CT scans every twelve weeks or more often, if needed. The latest scan showed no new activity and the one remaining tumor has become even smaller.
Although, the medicine, eventually, took a toll on my body I highly recommend anyone with this condition to become involved in a research project. It may or may not help you, but will help someone down the road.
At this time, my weight has leveled off, I am eating very well, sleeping well, doing many of the things I did before the diagnosis, such as volunteering at church and being very involved in some of my clubs and councils and doing some traveling.
God is good! As soon as I was diagnosed, I dwelt on three ideals to fight this terrible disease --- good medical help, positive thinking and action, and the power of prayer. The order of importance of each of these can change daily, but to me the most, overall, item is prayer. As soon as I was diagnosed, my wife, Barbara, organized a prayer village; everyone was and is invited to join the village.
The support and love of my wife, my son and daughter and their families and all of our friends has been overwhelming. We are now into the twenty-second month of this adventure and continue to be blessed and to remain very positive.