Right Plan For Cancer Treatment
When Mike Jackson received the news, denial set in.
At age 44, he was told he had stage 4 pancreatic cancer and had four months to live.
Three and a half months went by, and Mike saw no way out.
“I left home one night to commit suicide,” he says. “I was sitting on a river with a gun in my hand about to pull the trigger.” His mind raced. Images. Memories. “My daughter was 5 at the time and her face appeared in front of me and she kept begging me to come back.”
He set down the gun, went back to this car and drove home. His joyful little girl, Vashti, was waiting for him.
He was a different man.
“That took my focus off of me and I put it on living for her.”
His will to survive brought him to Moffitt Cancer Center, even though it was a two and a half hour drive from his home in Daytona Beach.
“When you hit the door, you don’t want to feel like a patient or a number, you want to feel like a family member and that’s what I feel like when I come here,” says Mike.
His hope expanded at Moffitt because his doctors and radiologist set out a clear treatment plan. Mike, in fact, was one of the first recipients of a new medication that had just been approved by the FDA.
Through every moment, Mike continued to find enormous courage from Vashti. “The strength that I got from her, to always tell me to fight and to never give up. She was just always there.”
So was his wife, Leighetta, who he calls his “best friend of 28 years,” and so was his “family” at Moffitt. “The same love and care that I received that [first] day [at Moffitt] is the same love and care I still receive this day. They’re always available to me.”
Cancer free since 2013, Mike now encourages others to have courage and perseverance. "I figure God has got me here to do a purpose and that’s why I’m sitting here today to do that purpose," he says.
“It’s not about Mike Jackson. It’s the fighters in this world and I’m just here to give them the faith and the strength to fight.”
Moffitt offers annual screenings to help detect cancer earlier. Make it part of your plan to get screened.
To ask questions, call 1-888-MOFFITT or complete a new patient registration form online. We do not require referrals.