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My life with pancreatic cancer


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I sometimes feel a fraud when I read the stories of others who have suffered.

In 2003 I was helping the good lady in the garden when I felt extremely tired. She accused me of shirking so I carried on. In the evening I suddenly felt extremely cold and no matter what I did I could not get warm. After a warm bath I went to bed and was still feeling cold. Within a couple of hours the bed linen had to be changed as I had sweated so much. Come the morning all was well. A couple of weeks later it happened again. When it became regular I thought oops. Time to see my GP. Checks, blood tests and the usual tests and I was called back. I can remember the GP's words. " You are either very ill or there is nothing to worry about". He gave me a letter and sent me to a local hospital. When checking in the doctor looked at me and said you are well jaundiced. I had not noticed this in any way neither had my good lady. Three weeks of having probes put in that was uncomfortable to say the least it was discovered I had a tumor on the Islets of langerhans. A few weeks later I was admitted to a large hospital and underwent the Whipple's Procedure. This went well. There I am sitting in my bed and in comes a new patient who is to undergo the same procedure. He was in theatre half the time that I was and had been informed it was too late.

This did affect me in that I realised how lucky I had been.

When started on this journey i was 14 stones when I was discharged I was 11 stone. I do not recommend this as a weight loss programme.

A few months later I was again admitted to hospital because of severe pain around the stomach area.

When you hear the words " I think it the pancreas " you do tend to panic. It turned out as they had removed two thirds of my pancreas I was susceptible to pancreatitus. So panic over.

I am now 15 years on. My meals are accompanied by creon ( If I forget the world suffers, sufferers will know why). I occasionally suffer from pancreatitus but I have learned to recognize the symptoms so usually can cope

Four years ago my wife passed on leaving to fend for myself. Its at times like this your realise what they do.

I put my survival down to a GP recognising that something was not right. He could have treated me for all sorts but took the route that I am convinced saved my life

Anyone who has odd symptoms MUST try to get their doctor to consider Pancreatic cancer

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PCUK Nurse Nicola

Hi Rowlie,

My name is Nicci and I am one of the nurses that works on the support line alongside my colleagues Dianne Jeni and Rachel.

I am so pleased to hear that you are now 15 years post Whipples operation however I am sorry to hear about the loss of your wife Rowlie, that must have been incredibly difficult for you.

I am glad that you manage well with the Creon Rowlie, it can be tricky to find the right amount to take sometimes but it sounds like you have found a good routine with it.

Thank you for taking the time to share your inspiring story on the forum and encouraging people with symptoms to go to their GP, as you know diagnosing this terrible disease earlier improves survival.

Kind regards


Nicci Murphy

Pancreatic Cancer Specialist Nurse

Support Team

Pancreatic Cancer UK

email: nurse@pancreaticcancer.org.uk

support line: 0808 801 0707

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Rowlie, Yes you’re one of the lucky ones. Same here as I was diagnosed in April 2014 and had Whipples surgery at (name removed - moderator), London followed by 6 mths of chemo. Do you take a daily PPI like Omeprazole as this is said to help make the Creon more effective and to reduce stomach acid.

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