Enjoying Life One Day at a Time
In 2004, I went to a local hospital in Hagerstown, Maryland, with stomach issues. I was later transferred to a large hospital in Baltimore after developing jaundice. There, I learned that there was a tumor blocking my liver duct—the cause of the stomach distress—and that I had Stage III pancreatic cancer. I had no prior family history of the disease and was only 44-years-old at the time of diagnosis.
After learning the diagnosis, my wife and I felt like we were in the dark. We knew little about pancreatic cancer and spent a couple of weeks trying to educate ourselves about the disease. Then, we had to stop reading.
What we learned terrified us.
WHAT REALLY MATTERS
I chose to have the Whipple procedure at a hospital in Baltimore because there was an experienced pancreatic cancer surgeon at that institution. After a successful surgery, I followed up with chemotherapy and radiation in Hagerstown.
My most recent scan showed no evidence of disease.
Know Your Options
Pancreatic cancer taught me what really matters in life. I wouldn’t have made it through this diagnosis and treatment without the support of my wife. It brought us even closer and we learned to enjoy life one day at a time.
Today, I am a healthy 58-year-old who is living life to the fullest. As a pancreatic cancer survivor, I would advise a recently diagnosed patient to look at all of the options available to them and to find a great doctor like I had. Your only job is to focus on getting better and keeping a positive outlook.