I have stage IV pancreatic adenocarcinoma, in remission for about six years.
After developing fatigue and elevated blood glucose, I was diagnosed with new-onset diabetes mellitus in May 2013, when I was 56. I had the diabetes under good control with insulin over the summer, but by October I noticed that my bowel movements had changed, with steatorrhea and diarrhea, and I was increasingly fatigued. I also realized that I had lost weight. I went to the ER late one Friday, and a CT of my abdomen showed a 5 cm mass in my pancreas. My CA 19-9 level was 10,000.
I then went see Dr. Charles Yeo at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) and had Dr. Thomas Kowalski, a Jefferson gastroenterologist, do an endoscopic ultrasound-guided biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.
I am a physician so I tried to learn as much as I could about current research and ideas for treating pancreatic cancer. I consulted with other oncologist friends and “Doctor Google.”