RonRon’s Story: Almost a year after retiring, I was diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas. It came as a great shock to both of us as I have been a very active person, playing golf and generally enjoying our retirement with planned holidays and cruises. The first real indication that things were not right was I started to develop jaundice. I was forever going to the toilet, which at first I put down to food poisoning, having eaten mussels two days earlier. At that time, if I did try to eat anything, it just went straight through me.

As we were away in Scotland, I put off visiting a doctor for two days, thinking it would clear up. On returning home I visited my GP who was very concerned about my condition. By now I was bright yellow, and after examining me, he discovered I had an enlarged liver. Two days later I was in the Royal Lancaster Infirmary where an ultrasound scan revealed a growth on my pancreas. I has a stent inserted to get my liver working again.

A week later, I met Mr Chang and his team who specialise in pancreatic cancer at the Royal Blackburn Hospital, who explained everything that was involved with such a complicated operation. Within days I was in the operating theatre, nine hours later I came to in the recovery ward. Two days after that they moved me to a main ward and ten days later I was back home (2 stone lighter). From being diagnosed, having the operation and getting back home, I could not have had any better treatment: everyone, from consultant to the cleaners were absolutely fantastic.

Once back home, I was visited every day by local nurses and my GP. The nurses took out my staples after a few days. On release from hospital, Mr. Chang assured me that he had got all the cancer away by removing the top of my pancreas and four lymph glands. He arranged for me to have 6 months of chemotherapy – just to make100%  sure – this I started in October 2009. I must admit this is when I had one or two lows for a day or two after a chemotherapy session. But by the February, weather permitting, I was playing a few holes of golf and feeling my strength coming back as the weeks went by. On 25th March, 2010 I had my final chemo session.

On 16th April 2010 we were on a cruise in the Med and Adriatic. While on the cruise, I had three sessions with a trainer in the gymnasium doing exercises to build up my upper body strength for playing golf. I also ensured I got plenty of rest and relaxation and kept stress out of my life as much as possible. Now, seventeen months on, I am feeling really well, we have been to Spain for a few weeks and I am back to playing golf three times a week and generally enjoying life.

Both Mr. Chang, my surgical consultant and Mr. Fyfe my oncologist are very pleased with my progress and I will continue to be monitored by them on a six-monthly basis. Again, my sincere thanks to them and their magnificent staff for their care and support, which helped me through such a traumatic period and is the reason I am here today.