20+ Years Survivor

Carer Story: Colin

Colin shares his wife Teina’s story of being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer aged just 24. She is now 29 years cancer free, something they both say is a result of her early diagnosis.

I am writing this on behalf of my wife Teina “a pancreatic cancer survivor” and that’s a term I hope more people will be able to use in the future. Teina story starts when she was 24 years old and had 2 young daughters with her first husband. An appointment came through for her youngest to have her jabs and so Teina turned up at the health centre the jabs given and then the event that changed many lives, the nurse turned to Teina and said ‘ you should see a doctor as your eyes are yellow and you have jaundiced skin’.

As a busy mother of two who’s husband worked full time and who didn’t think anything was wrong with her as she had no other symptoms apart for a bit of a cold, it would of being easy for Teina to put off going to her GP, but luckily she didn’t and her GP took things seriously as well, and so in a short period of time tests were run, results checked and Teina found herself in London Hammersmith hospital (despite living in Shropshire), undergoing a Whipples procedure to remove her tumor.

The surgery was a total success And Teina made a full recovery apart from developing a very rare secondary cancer on the liver in the form of neuroendercrine tumors or NET cancer for short.

And so we move forwards Teina now has 3 daughters, 11 grandchildren and a new husband but most of all at the age of 53 Teina is pancreatic cancer free for 29 years and still going strong, she still has NET but it is in a stable condition and its all down to early diagnosis.

And now the sad bit my mum has just being diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer, but it took months to get her GP to take things seriously despite my mum being a type 2 diabetic and her blood sugars going out of control.

Teina and Colin