The Beginning of My Journey
I’m just at the beginning of my journey, which started in whirlwind fashion 2 months ago, in December of 2012. Here is what I’ve experienced so far, on this first leg of my journey through pancreatic cancer.
December, 2012: I was officially diagnosed with stage 1 pancreatic cancer, after trips to the ER. ultrasound, CT scans, MRI and X-rays for pancreatitis. I went in for abdominal pain which radiated to my back with increased intensity over the next several weeks and became constant unless I took prescription narcotic medication for the pain.
Jan 10, 2013: Underwent a “Whipple Procedure”, a 5-hour major surgery to remove the cancerous tumor. Parts of my pancreas, small intestine, and stomach were removed, and the pancreatic tumor and sample lymph nodes were sent for more complete analysis.
Several days later, my surgeon advised me that the lab tests came back. The tumor was twice the size originally thought (4cm instead of 2cm) and of the 9 sample lymph nodes, 4 are cancerous. I was re-diagnosed with stage 2 cancer, and will be beginning a 5-month regimen of chemo and radiation soon, hopefully early in March.
Obstacles/complications encountered: a post-surgery abdominal abcess (infection), and a serious issue with not being able to eat, which caused my weight to go down to 95 lbs. I was put on a precription appetite enhancer, and am happy to say I’m eating better than I have in years, and am starting to gain weight (slowly). After taking 3 differeent antibioics, it seems the infection is cleared up now, as well.
I know God is with me through every step of this challenging process, and I have faith that my upcoming chemo/radiation therapies will have a positive outcome, mostly because I don’t think God is finished with me yet. He still has something for me to accomplish in this life, and it seems my pancreatic cancer has opened the way to a better life for me, and more loving/giving toward others. A blessing in disguise.