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Survivor Story: Jayme Kowalski

First of all I want to give thanks to my family.  Without their support, I would not have had the will to fight and live.  My name is Jayme Kowalski and in 1992 I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  I had the Whipple procedure, which took 6 hours longer than expected.  Surgery didn't scare me, but I was scared for my 4 year old son and 2 year old daughter not having their dad.

After the surgery, I received weeks of chemotherapy and radiation.  I was young and I had no money, so I had to stay with my brother and sister.  Slowly I healed and things seemed to get better.

Two years later cancer was found in my colon.  I told myself again to fight, because I wanted to see my kids graduate.  They gave me the strength to go on.  I went back for more chemotherapy.

Throughout all the treatment and pain, I would grab my walker and take my kids to the park almost every day.  I watched my son play baseball and my daughter play soccer.  Just the little things in life meant so much.  I saw them graduate.  My daughter graduated from college, and my son is a chef.  I can't be more proud of them.  They are my life.  I was a hard person during the time of my crisis.  I never hid what I was going through from my son and daughter.  They understood why dad went through a lot of mood swings.  I love them.

Thank you to my family, my healthcare team, and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

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