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Updated Survivor Story: Marla Dunn

08/14/2013
When I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer I really didn't know what the pancreas was or what it did in my body.  I had no symptoms and seemed to be very healthy.  An ultrasound of my gallbladder revealed a 4 cm mass on the head of my pancreas.  I was 43 and thought that I would die.  I desperately didn't want to leave my husband or my two teen sons.  After several tests we learned that I had a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor (pNET) and that it could be surgically removed.

I had a very new type of surgery, a laparoscopic Whipple surgery, at a large hospital in Baltimore.  It was worth the eight hour drive to have such a huge surgery performed in a less invasive manner.  I believe in seeking second opinions and seeking options in healthcare.  I had a very long, difficult recovery, complications including delayed gastric emptying and a biliary stricture, but today I am happy and healthy.  I am amazingly blessed that this tumor was found.  It had no symptoms of its own.  I have a scan each year and am totally cancer free!!  I praise the Lord for all He has done for me for it is through His mighty hand that I have been healed.



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