Meet Our Warriors

These are stories of people bravely fighting against the odds after receiving a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.

Life is precious, it is worth fighting for, and we want to help patients fight for more time with loved ones.

Meet Our Warriors:


Thank you so much for the assistance to pay our rent, it came at a time when we needed it most. I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in August, 2917. I’ve had chemo every few weeks since, and medication, c scans and Medical procedures. These costs are significant and have become a financial stain on us. Your contribution has eased the financial burden. I’m not able to work and never expected this to happen ( who ever thinks this will happen ).
My prognosis isn’t good, I continue to stay strong and believe and pray a new remedy will come along to help me. I’m a strong willed woman and will continue to be strong as long as I have the strength to do so.
Thank so much Betsy Murphy

Here’s something my husband wrote,

Observations from the spouse of a cancer patient, one who has been with her daily through her challenges since being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer over 8 months

When you are first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, it’s like being hit by a bus. You know it’s one of the worst cancers one can have. What do I do now, what will I endure in the next few months, will I be sick, tired and weary, how long do I have to live. You realize that this terrible cancer is continuing to grow inside your body, will we be able to remove it by reducing its size and having surgery?

When you visit the oncology DR. for the first time you realize how sick you really are and the diagnosis isn’t in your favor. She prescribes chemotherapy and explains how it works and the side effects you will have. The chemo is supposed to reduce the tumor, it works on fast growing cells which also means it will reduce the hair on your body as hair is a fast growing cell. Your hair thins and starts to come out, you cut it short and then it is finally gone, you find nice scarfs and knit caps to help you feel and look better. You will have nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain, body ache, weight loss, possible sores in your mouth, dry mouth, dry itchy skin, sorrow, worry and depression, you can’t digest your food as your pancreas doesn’t produce the enzymes needed.

You ask yourself why me, if your the spouse of a cancer patient you wish you had the cancer instead of your lovely spouse. You realize that the cancer is not because you ever did anything to cause it, you were just dealt a bad hand.
After weeks, then months of treatment and over 20 pounds of weight loss you are not getting better, and the DR tries another chemo that slows the cancer growth, the cancer has spread to your stomach slightly and it’s difficult to control your digestion and you can’t venture too far from home. You have a New Normal, most of your dreams and plans for the future in retirement are gone.

Religion teaches us there’s a better place we’ll go to, and you understand, but are not ready to leave the place you are now, your family, friends and the ones you love and care for. You cherish each good day and thank God for them, and pray you will have a restful night and wake in the morning feeling good.

You wake early each morning that you go to the cancer center for infusions and chemo, it’s difficult as you know you will feel worse to feel better. All the wonderful caring nurses and staff are there to help and assist you, gently taping your port for infusion, bringing warm blankets, pillows and cold or hot drinks and snacks, taking time to talk to you, helping to ease your stress and anxiety. Most of these caregivers are now your friends, they know your name, your life history, your family members and friends, your adventures when you were younger and healthy, and you know more about them and their children, spouse, family and friends.

It’s a long hard road, battling this terrible cancer, you have to keep strong as it’s the only choice, it’s easy to give up and not fight the battle, but your strong willed and will keep going and pray the results are good. Your thankful for the thoughts, prayers and cards of all that know and love you. The power of prayer is significant, and sometimes the only thing that keeps you going.

The next time you encounter someone with cancer, tell them your sorry and ask them if you can give them a gentle hug, and pray for them daily.

Betty Murphy

In April of 2012, after numerous doctor appointments, blood work and even an emergency heart catheter, my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. My father, who is in his early 60’s, good health and still working full-time, started experiencing chest pains and discomfort in his back and stomach. His appetite diminished, along with his sleep and energy. Although his primary care physician continued to treat him for his symptoms, these treatments did not resolve the pain and discomfort he was experiencing. My father’s persistence in knowing that something wasn’t right is what brought us to where we are now. He went to the doctor yet another time when they decided to do an ultrasound. That’s when they discovered the tumor. Later that day, we were given what we thought was my father’s fate. Our family doctor came to my parent’s home, sat down in their living room and very bluntly told us my father had 3 months to 1 year to live. From what the doctors could tell the mass was contained in the tale of his pancreas but that there was no time to waste. Within a few days, he was meeting with his oncologist and within a week we were scheduled for a surgery that we weren’t sure was even possible.

My father underwent surgery for 6 hours (by the grace of God) at I.U. Medical Center. His stellar surgeon, Dr. Nakeb, removed half of his pancreas, spleen , adrenal gland and 15 lymph nodes. We were released from I.U. Medical Center within a week. This was huge for our family since the average time spent in the hospital after this particular surgery was a recovery time, for up to 5 weeks. The treatment wasn’t over though. My father had another 6 weeks to recover at home. Once released from under his surgeons care, he began the onset of radiation and chemo everyday for 5 weeks. He successfully made it through his 5 weeks of treatment and has begun his 6 months of chemotherapy alone. This past Tuesday, my dad was scheduled for his first scan since undergoing surgery.

This road we’ve been on has not been easy. It’s been rough, dark at times and extremely scary. Our world as we know it will never be the same. As I said earlier, we thought we knew my dad’s fate. But that scan, it showed us differently. The scan came back clear of cancer! This isn’t the end of my dad’s battle. He’ll continue on with treatment until February of 2013. And what the New Year will bring, no one knows. But I can tell you this, whether it’s rough, dark or scary, we still have a road in front of us, that’s more than what we thought we had in the beginning. Modern medicine has played a vital role in my father’s existence but so has good health, unwavering support from family and friends and determination to NEVER give up.

Holly Fuller

Six months ago my husband Sergio and I were training for the Panama City Ironman when a gastro check-up revealed a dilated pancreatic duct. Fear was our first reaction. It should have been hope, faith, and courage.

Sergio underwent a distal pancreatectomy and followed a rigorous nutrition plan. After a 2 month recovery period he returned to training.

Last Saturday, November 3, 2012, he completed his first Ironman in Panama City, FL, 6 months after his surgery.

He would like to tell all who are battling this disease, to stay positive, healthy, and take control of what you can control.

Monica Marie Weglicki Sanchez

Nominate A Warrior

Is there someone you know that has fought pancreatic cancer?

Would you share the story?

The more we open a dialogue about what happens by sharing stories, the more we can come together as a community to help get better screening and treatment options.