Carer Stories

Carer Story: Nicholas Kleovoulou

Nicholas describes the moment he received a call from his mothers doctor to inform him that she had pancreatic cancer. She later underwent a 8 hour total pancreatectomy and has made a good recovery.

My name is Nicholas Kleovoulou. I am 29 years old and I come from Cyprus.

I moved in London in 2006 to study my passion. I studied Cancer. 10 years later I am pursuing my dream. I work in early development Clinical Research and I lead the set up of Phase 0 to Phase 2 cancer clinical trials. I have never been happier in my life.

On November 27th at 1:15pm of last year my life turned upside down when I received the news about the person I love more than I love anything or anyone in my life. I received the call from my mother’s doctor to inform me that my mother was diagnosed with this disease. After being rushed into the Emergency Room because I collapsed, I managed to get the first flight back to Cyprus (where my family resides) and in 6 days after the diagnosis I managed to get her into the operating theatre with the best available HPB surgeon. The official diagnosis was Stage IIB Ductal Adenocarcinoma of the Pancreas. There was no major blood veins involved, clear margins, no metastases and 3 out of 28 nodes involved.

Four months later, I feel like the most blessed person on the face of the earth. I am suspecting you know why. It is because we don’t get many Stage 2 diagnoses. This shocked me to my very core. The diagnosis was by accident due to an inflamed duodenum and the fact that my parents can afford private healthcare in Cyprus. This frustrates me even more and makes me want to be involved and have an impact on people who won’t be as lucky and blessed as my mum. I mentioned private healthcare because public healthcare in Cyprus is not even kind of close to our brilliant healthcare system here in the UK. A healthcare that has the potential of treating pancreatic cancer patients just like any other cancer patient. I feel the urgent need to turn BY ACCIDENT diagnosis into excellent scientifically-backed early diagnosis that would lead this dreadful 4% into a 104% survival rate.

My mom has recovered well from surgery (8-hour total pancreatectomy) and her scans were clear Post-Op and Pre-Treatment. On Monday she is starting Cycle 2 of her Chemotherapy treatment.

My mother is a very healthy, active and happy 55 year old woman. She is my whole life really. You can say that even though we have been living in different countries for 10 years we are attached to the hip. We call each other every day since I moved in London.

Even though everything is going well with my Mum; I still have fear of the rest of future pancreatic cancer patients and how bad they have it.