I Have My Life Back
In 2015, I was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer that metastasized to my liver, when I was only 44 years old. Given how progressive my disease was, I was told I had less than one year to live.
From the moment I received this devastating diagnosis, I vowed to stay optimistic and fight the disease the best I could – not just for myself, but for my wife, teenage daughter and my parents.
I researched the leading pancreatic cancer treatment centers in the country, found an oncologist and traveled to Boston from my home in Florida for treatment. The oncologist took a biopsy of my tumor and discovered that the tumor had a BRCA2 mutation. Typically, patients with this mutation respond well to treatment with the chemotherapy FOLFIRINOX, and subsequently, I received this potent therapy
After eight months of taking FOLFIRINOX, I received the incredible news that I had no evidence of disease. To minimize my chances of a recurrence, my oncologist prescribed Lynparza, an FDA-approved treatment for certain types of breast and ovarian cancer. She based this decision on the genetic mutations found in my tumor, which indicated that the off-label use of this treatment would likely benefit me.
I was one of the first pancreatic cancer patients to take this treatment, and it has worked so well since I started it two years ago that I now have my life back—working, traveling, exercising and looking forward to my future. My most recent scans continue to show no evidence of disease. Genetic sequencing is changing how we look at cancer treatment and is giving patients like me more options.