Paulette's story

I Listened to My Body


At the time of my diagnosis, a pancreatic cancer diagnosis was the furthest thing from my mind. I was 63 years old and had no symptoms or family history of the disease. What brought me to my internist in the first place was a bout of diarrhea, which turned out to be unrelated to the diagnosis. Still, my doctor was insistent that we do further tests to find the cause, and his persistence ultimately ended up saving my life.

Two months after that initial visit to my internist, we ran the suggested tests and a tumor was found. My doctor was confident that it would likely be benign, and I tried to put the findings out of my mind.

I was shocked when I found out the tumor in the tail of my pancreas was malignant and I would need surgery. I underwent a successful Whipple procedure and didn’t require additional treatment, as the disease was diagnosed at an early stage.

Positive Outcome, Independent Life

Recently, I celebrated being a 10-year pancreatic cancer survivor. I credit this positive outcome to the thoroughness of my internist and his recommendation of an excellent surgeon and facility. Even though my scans after the Whipple showed no evidence of disease, I still undergo routine scans each year. I try to live as independently as possible, have modified my diet to eat healthier and exercise regularly.

If I could give any advice, I would tell people to listen to their bodies. If something isn’t right, see your doctor. Early detection is why I am here and thriving today.

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