Well said, by both of these two. Moreover, while we were on that walk, I ran into an old high school friend who I literally hadn’t seen since high school. He lost his father to pancreatic cancer in 2008, and his entire family was there walking together on that sunny day, remembering him. It was an emotional experience that I was glad to be a part of, but also an infuriating one when you see how much hurt this f*ing disease causes.
When MAB’s father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, I remember her saying that the Google search on the disease was terrifying. I did one of my own and what I read was scary and devastating, almost unfathomable. I remember hoping against hope that her wonderful father—someone I had known since we were in 5th grade—would beat the very slim odds.
That didn’t happen. And it didn’t happen, more recently, for MAB’s friend’s mother, who was taken two months after her diagnosis. Or Kath’s amazing mom.
We participated in a fundraising walk for pancreatic cancer in the spring and I could count the number of “survivor” tee-shirts on one hand. Most of the people there were walking in honor of someone who was fighting or had passed.
It’s sad that most people only learn about this particular cancer once it hits their lives—and then it’s usually too late. I’ve seen the devastation and heartbreak it can bring to people I love and I hope, hope, hope that one day it no longer has the opportunity wreak such havoc.
Here are some startling statistics:
- There is no early detection or screening exam currently available for pancreatic cancer.
- An estimated 74% of patients will die within one year of diagnosis.
- The average life expectancy after diagnosis with metastatic disease is just five to seven months.
- 94% of pancreatic cancer patients will die within 5 years of diagnosis and only 6% will survive more than five years.
- Pancreatic cancer research is drastically under-funded and as a result, relatively few researchers are investigating the disease as compared with researchers focusing on breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, etc.
- Just 2% of the National Cancer Institute’s budget is allocated to this leading killer.And here’s MAB’s post, including information about a vigil in NYC in September to raise awareness:
So, remember that post from July 18th? The one where I found out that my friend’s mom has pancreatic cancer? Well, when I returned from Turks & Caicos on Monday evening and started receiving text messages (I had turned it off while I was away), the first text I got was from my friend G. Her…
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