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Survivor Story: Mike Furgerson

I would like to start off by saying that I am a Christian. As I read other survivor stories, I see many that have commonalities with mine - faith in Christ and physical exercise.

Until April, 2012, my medical history was only a couple of lines long; I was very healthy. But that was to change quickly. During March, 2012, I began to itch all over; it was enough to keep me awake at night. I thought that I had an allergy. I went to my doctor and he started running tests. On April 13, during an ERCP procedure, a blockage in my bile duct was diagnosed as pancreatic cancer. I was referred to a surgeon for a Whipple procedure. I had the Whipple procedure on May 8. I was released from the hospital after eight days and then had to return because of an infection. The incision had de-hissed because of an infection. I stayed five more days in the hospital and was released again.

The surgeon recommended that I see an oncologist for follow-up treatments. I had my port installed on June 19 and had my first chemotherapy treatment the following day. I had one treatment per week for eight weeks. After three weeks off, I started the radiation treatments for 28 treatments. Then back to chemotherapy for six more weekly treatments. The treatments ended on December 28, 2012. All of my test results have looked excellent since that time. My CA19-9 tests have been less than 10.

I have been an avid road bike rider for years, so I was in very good physical condition prior to this disease. After the treatments, I was back on the trainer bike within three weeks, and back outside on the road bike as soon as the weather warmed up. I was able to ride approximately 1,700 miles the first summer after treatments ended. I believe that my recovery has gone exceptionally well because of all of the prayers of my family and church. My family has been very supportive of me. I am so fortunate to have a very supportive family and friends, and a loving God.

As of June, 2014, I am cancer free and feeling exceptionally well. I thank God for bringing me through this.

My advice through this - trust in God and never, never give up.

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