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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