My Story is about Judi Adams (myself)

 

This event took place from 10/16/2021 to 10/17/2022

 

The Discovery

during surgery in Nov 2021

 

This is My Story

Judi Adams has been living in Brisbane for the past 5 years.

Since 2004, Judi has been a passionate advocate for cancer research, raising awareness and funds for the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) as a volunteer community fundraiser, and through her work as a volunteer for the Women in Super Mother’s Day Classic (WIS MDC).

In 2017 this advocacy and awareness raising was recognised by the National Australia Day Council, when Judi was awarded the honour of being chosen as the incoming Tasmanian Local Hero 2018 award winner in the Australian of the Year awards program.

On moving to Brisbane in 2018, Judi extended her reach and continued to contribute to the NBCF through her fundraising events and her role on the Brisbane committee of the WIS MDC.

In November 2021 Judi had a pancreatic cancer diagnosis, which was discovered during surgery.

Since her diagnosis and surgery, Judi has had 6 months chemotherapy which was completed in July 2022.

Judi is not content to be a passenger on this journey and has chosen to assist drive a public awareness campaign around pancreatic cancer. Judi is speaking out about her own lived experience, and is now passionately channelling her energy and has shifted her focus to concentrate on raising awareness about pancreatic cancer and the symptoms, and to advocate for the need for more research into pancreatic cancer.

For Judi, this starts with awareness and a conversation, which then contributes to a pathway for further dialogue. Judi hopes to ensure earlier detection and better outcomes for those like her, who may not realise their symptoms are indicative of pancreatic cancer.

In conjunction with QIMR Berghofer and Pankind, Judi has collaborated on promotional ads and media stories and advocated for patients and carers to join QIMR Berghofer’s Pathways and Process studies.

Working with Pankind and the Pancreatic Cancer Alliance, Judi has been promoting that key sites and firms are planning to paint the town purple across Australia to raise awareness for pancreatic cancer. Judi is contributing to increasing the community’s awareness of pancreatic cancer, and highlighting the need for more research, through promoting the campaign to light up Australia for World Pancreatic Cancer Day on 17 November 2022.

 

The Impact of Time

It is true It IS all about time.
It is also about time in relation to early detection, time is critical in finding pancreatic cancer, and having a diagnosis makes you aware that time is precious and it is a gift!

 

My Story is about Gabriele, my father.

 

This event took place from 05/26/2022 to 09/14/2022

 

The Discovery

In the spring 2022 my father started having some discomfort after eating, his general medicine doctor prescribed drugs for irritated esophagus. Nothing changed till 25th of may, when my father the GM doctor suggests to have an ultrasound scan on the abdomen “I suspect you got an aneurism in that area”.
This prompted me to bring my dad in the most important hospital of our area. After a long day of tests, everything was apparently ok and they couldn’t see any signs of aneurism or cancer. Still my father was still suffering in his back, abdomen and stomach. So after further investigations, a huge mass was found in the pancreatic area and the we were told it was impossible to do anything in that hospital. So we arranged a paid appointment in one the most important private hospital of Italy for, we flew to Milan. He was admitted to Ospedale San Raffaele, here they told the bad news: he got a border line pancreatic adenocarcinome in the body and tail, the surgeon told my father he had to undergo chemotherapy and heparin twice a day to control a huge blood cloth in the liver blood vessel.

This is My Story

My and my brother moved back to our parents house to help our father and our mother, both shocked by the diagnosis.
Gabriele started having unbearable pain, so the specialist suggested a procedure called “Celiac Plexus Neurolysis”. The situation kinda improved but we had to wait a month for him to start chemotherapy. So in meantime his stage 3 pancreatic cancer started to increase in volume (over 8 cm) and all the principal blood vessels were reached.

My father legs and feet started to swell up a lot, at the point he was able to walk with great difficulty, we tried with drugs and drainages. His conditions started to deteriorate very fast, he was unable to eat and drink and lost weight, we booked a paid appointment with a doctor who prescribed some special drinks suitable for pancreatic patients, he improved and started gaining his weight. He was always cheerful and wanted to have walks on the wheelchair every evening with us.
The last chemotherapy session was the beginning of the end.
According to his blood test (we knew that lately in the day in the Emergency room,), my father wasn’t eligible for the treatment that day, but somehow the doctor decided to administer it. In the evening my dad started to feel freezing cold and to breath with great difficulty.
In the ER we were told my father got sepsis and there wasn’t a single free bed to admit him in the hospital.
We bring him back home, frail in the body and the spirit. He survived 2 weeks on antibiotics, the situation was dramatic. He was admitted in the hospice were he passed away the 14th of September, with no pain, surrounded by us, his family, and the precious cares of nurses and doctors.

The pancreatic cancer transformed a healthy and sporty 69years old man to a frail creature in no time, he survived 3 months and half after diagnosis, also because in our area we don’t have a pancreatic unit and wasn’t able to fly to Milan, or Verona.
The hardest point was when an oncologist from our local hospital told us “We don’t cure pancreatic tumors here, we can only help the patients with some palliative care”.
From our point of view, everything can change for patients and families with the creation of pancreatic units, there’s only a couple of places in Italy and they can’t absorb the whole number of patients. There’s still a lot to do in this fight, we know very well, but the meantime patients and their families are suffering greatly because of the lack of support.

The Impact of Time

An early detection would have changed everything for Gabriele, but it was just impossible. Some weeks prior covid19 began to spread Italy in 2020, my father went to an endocrinologist after his blood test showed something abnormal. The endocrinologist suspected hyperglycemia and asked my father to have a more specific blood test, he got the results on march 2020, the country was then on national lockdown. The doctor never answered our phone calls, emails, messages. 2020, 2021 and part of 2022 where very difficult for healthcare in our country, with Hospitals and clinics almost closed to the people. It resulted impossible to get an appointment till June 2022.

 

My Story is about MAURO

 

This event took place from 10/15/2019 to 01/16/2021

 

The Discovery

A SEGUITO DI UN’ ECO ADDOME CHE EVIDENZIAVA PROBLEMI AL FEGATO, POI CON SUCCESSIVA TAC E’ STATO EVIDENZIATO UN ADENOCARCINOMA CORPO-CODA AL PANCREAS.

This is My Story

Nel mese di ottobre 2019, a seguito eco addome e a seguito successiva TAC dell’ addome, il nostro medico ci ha comunicato che MAURO (Mio marito) aveva un adenocarcinoma al corpo-coda del pancreas con infiltrazione del tripode celiaco. Appena ricevuta la diagnosi ìo ho cercato di superare il momento di smarrimento e disperazione e ho cercato di agire con calma e determinazione. Dopo qualche giorno I’ ho comunicato ai miei figli (di 34 e 32 anni). D’ accordo con mio marito, i miei figli e il mio medico abbiamo preso appuntamento al San Raffaele per una visita oncologica a cui è seguita, dopo breve tempo, un’ eco-endoscopia, che ha confermato la precedente diagnosi “adenocarcinoma del pancreas IV stadio con metastasi epatiche”. L’ oncologo del San Raffaele gli ha prescritto il tipo di chemio da intraprendere. Il 3 gennaio 2020 MAURO ha iniziato la chemioterapia c/o I’ ospedale di Spoleto (un piccolo ospedale che è diventato la sua seconda casa e la sua seconda famiglia). Non ha avuto grossi effetti collaterali immediati (tipo nausea, vomito, inappetenza ecc…), ma ha subito un forte dimagrimento (circa 30 Kg.). lnoltre si sono abbassati i valori dell’ emocromo, della glicemia e deiia pressione (okre alla formazione di trombosi polmonari riscontrate dalla Tac). MAURO ha affrontato la malattia con tanta voglia di combattere, di vivere e di guarire. Infine sono sopraggiunte delle trombosi venose profonde alle gambe e un’ ascite , causata dalle metastasi al peritoneo. Però MAURO ha avuto sempre la speranza di riprendersi e di continuare le terapie. In questo percorso ci ha lasciato un grande insegnamento: “E’ DALLA VìTA CHE SI IMPARA A MORIRE”

The Impact of Time

IL RILEVAMENTO PRECOCE HA CONTRIBUITO AD INIZIARE PRECOCEMENTE LA CHEMIOTERAPIA, PRIMA CHE SOPRAGGIUNGESSERO I DOLORI.
MIO MARITO HA CERCATO DI GODERSI TUTTI I MOMENTI DEL TEMPO DI VIVERE CHE GLI RIMANEVA A DISPOSIZIONE.
ABBIAMO AVUTO IL DONO DEL TEMPO, ANCHE SE SOLO DI 15 MESI, MA CHE MIO MARITO HA VISSUTO CON ALTI E BASSI, MA SEMPRE CON LA SPERANZA E GIOIA DI VIVERE.

My Story is about My mom, Joy Greisman Bonn

 

This event took place from to 05/06/2020

 

The Discovery

My mom was having discomfort and it didn’t feel like gastro problems so she was concerned so she went to the doctor.

 

This is My Story

My mother was my best friend. My dad, my brother, sister in law and her two sisters and five grandchildren- Jacob, Jordan, Peri, Harley and Dani were the light of her life. When she knew she would die, she always said she had a good life and grateful for her wonderful family. She was the matriarch of our family. She was my anchor and life has just not been the same. She was a true JOY to all!

 

The Impact of Time

The last few months with my mom were spent with family surrounding her. We would lay in bed together and have conversations we never had. I was able to hear what she wanted for her family once she passed.

I was able to be there and hold her hand when she passed.

 

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My Story is about My dad, Bob

 

This event took place from 09/01/2016 to 10/26/2017

 

The Discovery

My dad, Bob, was having stomach pain for a few months. He went to the doctor and didn’t have a conclusive answer. Eventually, he had pancreatitis. He had an exploratory surgery to look for a tumor, which the surgeon did not believe was found. However, they did determine that he had pancreatic cancer after a final biopsy. It was a frustrating process, and we were never given a clear diagnosis until it was much later.

 

This is My Story

My family and I were amazed at how little funding, research, detection, and treatment options existed for people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. This was apparent very quickly. We came together and turned the grief of our dad’s death into energy and movement.

We launched The Reaumond Foundation a year after my dad’s passing. The foundation was established to provide research grants to doctors and comprehensive cancer centers focused on cutting edge research to combat the effects of the 3rd leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States.

Additionally, The Reaumond Foundation was established to provide financial assistance to families recently diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. The financial and emotional burden can be overwhelming and our foundation seeks to help those dealing with this deadly disease. Patients have a simple application process and have used funds for treatment, parking, transportation, groceries, rent, and other daily expenses that are often so impacted by pancreatic cancer.
In 2021, The Reaumond Foundation set an ambitious goal of raising $100,000 to provide subsidized housing to patients seeking extended care for pancreatic cancer at MD Anderson in Houston, Texas – the nation’s top hospital for cancer care. With the help of our generous donors, we were able to purchase and furnish our first home, which is within walking distance from MD Anderson, in December of 2021.

Homes of Hope aims to ease the financial burden of housing, provide better access to the nation’s top cancer hospitals, and provide a “home away from home” to families during their most difficult days.
Our foundation is our way of using our dad’s legacy as a vehicle for change and better outcomes.

 

The Impact of Time

The gift of time is so present in our story. My dad did very well with chemo treatment at first, and was able to enjoy much of his time with my mom and my three other siblings. He traveled to his other home in Arizona, exercised, enjoyed time with friends, and had a higher quality of life than you would expect with someone with this diagnosis.

My (now) husband and I had gotten engaged about two months before this diagnosis. We had a set plan to get married a year and a half after our engagement. My dad’s oncologist was pretty frank with us, and it was recommended to move the wedding up to a much closer date. We planned our wedding in two months. This was one of the best decisions I have ever made, as my dad was fully present at our wedding and in good health. It greatly shifted my priorities, and it was a “life lesson” that will be with my forever. It became so clear to me that our greatest gift is family and time spent together, and the rest is truly just noise.

It hasn’t even been five years since my father has passed. I often say it’s the shortest and longest time, as so much has changed. My husband and I are about to welcome our third child. In a very cliche way, my dad’s pancreatic cancer diagnosis serves a constant reminder that our time is finite and doesn’t wait for anyone. The buzzing thought that my dad has not met any of my children (or the three other grandchildren in our family) feels unbearable, cruel, and unfair in every way.
There will never be a day that I consider my dad’s death as a gift or a blessing. However, it changed me in ways that have made me a better person and shifted my outlook on life in such a meaningful way.

 

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My Story is about My Mum, Maureen

 

This event took place from to

 

The Discovery

In hindsight, Mum had been experiencing symptoms for a few months. Her symptoms included indigestion, bloating and a sore back.
It wasn’t until her doctor was concerned about her overdosing on pain medication that she was sent to the hospital for scans.

 

This is My Story

There is little to no history of cancer on Mum’s side of the family and certainly no history of pancreatic cancer.

The thing I still struggle to this day, is how fast the cancer took her away from us and how cruel the disease is. The pain levels Mum experienced were so intense, to the point she didn’t want to be around anymore and was approved for voluntary assisted dying (legal in Canada). My understanding was that she was waiting to reach her 60th Birthday in September. Time wasnt on her side though and she passed away in August.

 

The Impact of Time

Mum didn’t get a lot of time, she had 5 months between being diagnosed until she passed away – April 2020 to August 2020. She was living in Canada at the time and once my brother and I knew she was running out of time we jumped on a plane (from Australia) to be with her – not an easy task in the middle of a pandemic with border closures. In fact, it was 2 years ago to the day, 31 May.

After completing 2 weeks quarantine in Canada, Mum was released from the hospital so we could care for her at home, with the help of family, home care nurses and doctors. I got 3 weeks with Mum before I had to return to my young family in Australia, and complete 2 weeks hotel quarantine. My brother stayed on until Mum passed (1 month after I left). My Mum and my brother were incredibly brave.

 

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My Story is about my Abuela.

 

This event took place from 8 May 2016 until 2 December 2016

 

The Discovery

It took about 6 months and it all took place in Mexico. She went back home after a week stay because of her sister, who was once again diagnosed with stomach cancer and won the battle. She lost a lot of weight and strength which is why all her children pushed her to see a doctor. After about 6 months, she was too weak, and maybe 2 or so of her diagnoses were HepB/C because of her jaundice and nothing else was discovered until they got a look at her pancreas. She was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer and was five about 3 months, if that, to live.

 

This is My Story

The 3 months she was given were cut short. After her diagnosis, maybe a few days after she worsened. She had bike spreading and had to be drained. She was given the option to spend the rest of her time in the hospital or at home. She decided to go home. This gave her and her children to spend time. She had some places, places where she would connect with god, that she wanted to visit. Although extremely tired and needing the help of everyone, she was able to visit most of those places she desired before she passes. After her diagnosis, she was with us for less than a month before she passed on 12/02/2016. She passed away in her sleep, but we do know that at that point all the bad stuff had spread to her brain.

 

The Impact of Time

I know you all have more positive stories, or early detection. Unfortunately for my grandma, she had neither. I hear all these different stories but they all have the best patient care possible because of their country. I believe that if she would have gotten taken care of here in the US that maybe, just maybe, she could have had a little more time.

 

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My Story is about my Mum.

 

This event took place from 31 October 2019 to 16 September 2021

 

The Discovery

It was discovered by chance. My mum returned from a holiday complaining about an upset stomach and itchy skin. She blamed the food the was eating on her trip and the new bedding she was sleeping in. A few days later, a family friend who is also working in the medical field, looked at my mums eyes and said ‘you don’t look good, you should see a doctor’. A day later she was seeing her GP who found something suspicious in an ultrasound. She was referred to the local hospital and was diagnosed with jaundice, caused by pancreatic cancer.

 

This is My Story

I am upset that so many people can’t see their loved ones in need due to COVID restrictions all over the world. It was hard for me in 2020 and early 2021 and I was one of the lucky ones that was given the gift of spending time with my mum, who sadly passed away on the 16th of September 2021, just 2.5 months shy of her 69th birthday. I love my mum and I miss her dearly.

For my mum I shaved my hair last year during pancreatic cancer awareness month. I raised $2500. At her funeral we raised another 2500 Euro.

 

The Impact of Time

Time is the most important. My mum had surgery to free her bile ducts and started chemo soon after. I was able to visit her over Christmas 2019 (just before the world faced this new pandemic called COVID). She was going strong for quite sometime; the chemo was doing its job and my mum was keeping fit, occupied and healthy. She still had some goals, some of which she couldn’t experience due to COVID restrictions. 2020 went by with my mum going about her fortnightly routine of chemo. 2021 she started to struggle, lost more weight, had more side effects from the chemo – started to lose hope. I made an effort to apply for a travel exemption, which allowed me to see her in July 2021. My return flights were cancelled and I had to stay until October. What a blessing it was. My mum deteriorated very quickly in that time. She suffered from jaundice again and the cancer was pressing on her intestines. I was there for her in the time she needed me most. Yes, time was everything and also the timing of things. She managed to live 22 months with her diagnosis of Stage IV inoperable pancreatic cancer. She lived her life with this diagnosis, endured rounds and rounds of chemo and still left the hospital smiling. I am grateful my mum had the time she had; I wished COVID didn’t make it so hard, but she made the best of the time she had. She put plans in place for her end of life care and funeral, which eased the burden on us as a family. Of course, I still wish we had more time. Early detection is so important and can change the time we can spent with our loved ones.

 

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My Story is about my Me

 

This event took place from 16 October 2019 until now

 

The Discovery

During a scan before an emergency peratinitus operation.

 

This is My Story

I was diagnosed too late, I guess I had symptoms for at least 18 months before my diagnosis. My cancer was only discovered during an emergency operation. If it hadn’t been discovered I know I wouldn’t be here now. Due to the excellent care of my nurses & doctors who are keeping me alive my tumour is stable but u operable I am able to enjoy my time with family & friends although I am very tired after 46 cycles of chemotherapy. Time to ne is important & making people aware of the symptoms is important.

 

The Impact of Time

Time is a gift, I was diagnosed 2 years ago, I have had 46 cycles of Folfirnox & 6 weeks of radiotherapy & exploration in 2 years. My gift is the treatment is keeping me alive, allowing me with time with my loved ones.

 

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My Story is about my Barbara Rychter

 

This event took place from 13 October 2018 to 24 September 2019

 

The Discovery

My mother felt ill with symptoms similar to an ulcer which quickly progressed to hospitalization (within weeks) and then a biopsy of some “sludge” clogging a bile duct was proved to be pancreatic cancer.

 

This is My Story

This happened within a matter of weeks. No one would have ever guessed it was coming and suddenly our whole world changed. We lost my wonderful mother only 11 months after her diagnosis.

 

The Impact of Time

Everything is so fast! Symptoms to diagnosis to terminal. It all slips away so quickly. Time is absolutely a gift and what we all wouldn’t do for just one more moment with our loved ones.

Pancreatic Cancer needs urgent attention!

 

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