I remember the day Leroy’s doctor said the cancer would eventually take his life. It rocked me to my core, not because it was a stunning revelation, but because I was hearing this from the one person, I thought, who could prevent that from happening. I had such faith that Leroy’s team of wizards would find some way of knocking back his disease.
He knew from the beginning how his story would end. Maybe that’s why on our first day at the cancer center, he signed up, allowing the researchers access to his case.
He was strong, healthy, only 53 the last year of his life and yet there was no stopping this cancer.
When I looked around the room at the pancreas cancer retreat last weekend, I saw loving care-givers probably thinking the same thing. Care-givers can do so much to give their loved ones wonderful quality of life as they go through treatment, but the one thing they can’t do is give them more life.
There was a session for the couples that included three of the best pancreas cancer medical minds in the business. These doctor’s answered questions about clinical trials, new treatments, new procedures, some a long way from actual practice. But the patients and their care-givers were bolstered by the news that pancreas cancer is getting the attention it deserves from the research guru’s. Even if some of these new ideas may not be ready for these patients, they felt the pride of ‘paying it forward.’
Maybe their case will help discover a new path way to treatment.
Just like Leroy, their cancer will likely be the cause of their death, but not before they have a say in the future treatment of their disease.