How excruciating back pain lead to a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer

Lisa had excruciating back pain but related it to the fact she was a runner.  She went to the Dr and because she was also having digestive issues and just didn’t feel “right.” It was decided she would also get an appointment with a GI Dr.  Xray on her back didn’t show anything so she tried pain management while trying to make an appointment with her gastrologist.  Due to COVID she wasn’t able to get an appointment right away.  During her ultrasound she looked up at the screen and saw nothing but her pancreas.  She had a horrible feeling and she remembered a colleague mentioning his wife was a medical student and she would always say “don’t F with the pancreas.”  When she didn’t hear back from the Dr she felt everything must be ok.  They finally got back to her and said we found something, we need to get in there right away. It took two weeks to get the biopsy and that waiting time felt like an eternity. Getting the news from a resident was a horrible experience.  She hadn’t heard from her gastrologist and felt left trying to figure out what she was going to do at that point.  Her relationship with her Dr was filled with mistrust.   Things started to look up when her company provided her with information about a group called Pinnacle Care.  They help people who receive a devastating  diagnoses and helps manage the medical world.  Lisa openly talks about chemotherapy, trying to re learn your body again in regards to eating and taking the enzymes. Her family and friends were a great support during this time, support came from people she never met.  Trying to live life with a new normalcy.  3 things -Don’t google! Reach out to PanCAN Patient Services for great resources; understand your treatment, do not be afraid to ask your Dr over and over again why are you doing this; you have to believe you are in that 11%, you have to have that mindset that says “I’m in that 11% and never let go of that, never let anyone tell you, you are not. This episode of Living Hope is dedicated to fellow pancreatic cancer survivor Jenna James.


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