My dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in December of 2011. He died in March of 2002. Pancreatic cancer is such a horrible disease! The huge majority of people do not have a single symptom of the disease until it is too late and the disease has metastasized. This was the case for my dad. He had a cough that caused some pain in his side and it was annoying enough to check out but other than that he felt fine. By the time he went to the doctor the cancer had metastasized and filled his liver as well. I will never forget the day my mom, dad and I sat in the doctor’s office expecting to hear he could be all fixed up with a simple surgery and instead hearing that he had 3 to 6 months to live. He made it just over 3 months.
Only 4% of pancreatic cancer patients live to see 5 years after their diagnosis. This is usually because their cancer was caught on accident when they were looking for something else and it had not yet moved to any other organs. Although pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death, only 2% of the National Cancer Institute’s $5 billion annual budget is spent on researching the disease.
I am passionate about an organization called PanCan, The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. They are doing amazing work to bring attention and funding to fight this cancer. I am volunteering at their annual Purple Stride walk on April 23rd. If you are able and willing to donate to help fight this horrible disease, I would be so appreciative! Just click here to donate. Thank you so much.
-Betsy, Atkinson-Thompson Group