It takes hope

“I believe where there is hope, there is life.

It was Valentine’s Day when my husband Jerry and I got the news. I had stage-4 pancreatic cancer, and it had already spread to 90% of my body. I had it everywhere. It started in my pancreas, and then spread to my lungs, spine, stomach, and bones. My odds of beating it were about 1%.”

Fighting back

After processing my diagnosis, I asked my doctor the only question that came to mind, “How much time do I have?” He said he couldn’t answer that, but he was hopeful, and wanted to face the cancer head on and track it aggressively together, if I was willing. His confidence and positive energy started a fire in me, and I knew I wanted to fight the disease with everything I had. I drew hope from doctors and technology at Community Medical Centers that gave me a fighting chance.

I started treatment the following week, and we attacked it aggressively. After 4 rounds of chemotherapy, they rescanned me, and 85% of the cancer was gone. My tumor had shrunk from 4 cm down to 2 cm. The doctors would tell me that it was a miracle. I knew that everything was in God’s hands, and that he had guided me to them.

The passion and knowledge from the entire team at CMC is incomparable. They go the extra mile to help in any way they can, whether it be financial assistance or help in travel to my appointments. On top of the technical expertise and medical assistance they were able to provide, what was most important from my experience was the empathy they had. I believe this is why they are such successful healers. They really feel that people with difficult diseases should not lose hope, and this is where I was able to draw my strength.

Defying the odds

Aggressive chemotherapy eliminated most of my cancer and shrank my pancreatic tumor by half. CyberKnife radiation treatments finished the job. More than five years later, I am still living cancer-free.

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