To be given a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is like seeing a scary movie play out before your very eyes.
It stops you in your tracks.
You can’t breathe, think or feel properly.
Your life, your children, your husband, your friends, pass before your eyes in a nanosecond.
This isn’t happening. It can’t be.
This can’t be me they’re talking about; It’s got to be a dream. No. It’s a nightmare. This time, a real nightmare.
You want to scream, but you can’t. You’re struck dumb. A pit of fear wells up from the bottom of your stomach and rises until it reaches your mouth and you want to be sick. Cancer is bad enough but pancreatic cancer…
The doctor is telling you what they want to do next. You don’t listen. You can’t listen, the brain won’t process anything that is rational. Words are not clear, they’re muffled, misted and confused. Treatments, procedures and clinics are discussed. I don’t hear any of them.
The oncology nurse is next to me. She’s a kind lady but she can’t disguise the fact that she thinks I’m going to die. She looks at me with her head cocked, a pitying expression on her face. She’s not much older than me and I know she is thinking that I am too young for this and that she is thinking of her life, her family and how awful it would be if it were she in my situation. She’s glad she’s not.
I am told I am ‘lucky’. I have a chance for surgery – but still no-one can tell me I can get through this. They just talk about some people that have survived 3 years and how amazing is that! Again I see my boys’ faces flash before my eyes and I don’t think 3 years is amazing at all – I am only 41 and I want to be here to see them get through school, go to Uni, graduate, get married and for me to be a granny (one day!)
That was my scary diagnosis 8 years ago. At the time, I didn’t think I’d live to see the next Christmas let alone still be here to fight for others to have an early diagnosis. I am all too aware that most people who have one of the scariest diagnoses in the world are not as fortunate as me and many will only live on average a mere 4-6 months. For all of those people, now and in the future, I urge you to share our “Friday 13th scary movie” to improve the public’s understanding of the symptoms of pancreatic cancer – in the hope that more will be diagnosed sooner.
Please share the video which will drive more people to learn about the symptoms.
Founder & CEO Pancreatic Cancer Action