John's Pancreatic Cancer Treatment Story

"There has to be a medicine, a surgery or a radiation treatment for pancreatic cancer."
"There were no symptoms of pancreatic cancer - just a little non-specific middle back pain". I thought I must have stretched wrong at the gym or twisted my back while on a ladder. The first doctor's exam turned up nothing. A month later, when I asked the doctor to please check again, a slight flinch during an abdominal hands-on exam sent the medical complex in motion.

 A quickly ordered CT scan revealed a mass on my pancreas with possible involvement of the spleen, large intestine and left kidney. Things were moving fast now. One week later, I was taken to the operating room with orders for a biopsy of the pancreas and resection as deemed appropriate by the surgeon. The surgeon determined the disease to be widespread, malignant and inoperable. Two masses were found, the spleen was involved and many local lymph nodes appeared malignant.

When I awoke, I was given the diagnosis of stage IV metastatic pancreatic cancer. "There is no cure. You have anywhere from six to 18 months to live. Do you have a will? Is there any place you want to visit? Go now. We'll try to make you comfortable." Simply put, I didn't like this diagnosis and neither I nor my family was going to buy it. I just didn't believe it. Life isn't that simple, and I'm not leaving here that easily. There has to be a medicine, a surgery or a radiation treatment for pancreatic cancer."