My Story is about Patrycja Rzadkowska

The Discovery

I have always wanted to lose weight. In order to do it properly, I’ve consulted with my doctor. My blood tests were correct, so she made an USG of the abdomen. It was Wednesday, second half of July. She said she couldn’t see my pancreas and that there is something big inside my belly. She didn’t want me to panic so she advised to do CT as soon as possible. So I did, the next day, on Thursday. I begged for getting results quickly. On Friday morning, I had an USG made by friendly doctor, gastroenterologist. He confirmed – I had a big tumor, 16 cm, in body and tail of pancreas. Later that day I received CT results.

This is My Story

I barely remember that day. I went to work so I wouldn’t freak out. I’ve spent entire day on the phone, talking to my friends and family. At the same time, at home, my mum and her sister were setting up the appointment and looking for the best ways out. Few days later, next Wednesday, we went to Katowice for appointment with one of the best pancreatic surgeon. Well, in my opinion he is the best, but I might be biased. He said I need surgery as soon as possible. He found me a date in hospital he works in, in the middle of September. In the meantime, I had diagnostic laparoscopy in Wrocław, which showed it was neuroendocrine tumor. Semptemebr 8th my family and friends threw up a surprise birthday party for me. I was overwhelmed with the amount of love and support I was given. I was finally 25, I had all my life in my hands. Well, no. My life was in hands of cancer. September 18th I went to Katowice and the next day I had surgery. It lasted 5-6 hours. The entire tumor was cut out. I can’t recon next few days. First day I remember was Friday, when my friend and her husband paid me a visit.

The Impact of Time

I didn’t feel much pain then but I was getting morphine. I couldn’t eat then, but I was given drips. Days went by and I was stuck in the hospital due to complications – my pancreatic duct was damaged. Pancreatic juice flowed out of my belly so I had drain. I wasn’t given any food in order not to burden the pancreas. I’ve spent whole month in a hospital. My closest friends from Oława, Warszawa, Kraków and Radom came with a visit. So did my family. My parents were with me the whole time. I wasn’t alone. I was also using help from psychooncologist. It all made this battle with cancer easier. In the meantime, histopathology results came – it wasn’t neuroendocrine tumor, it was SPN (solid-pseudopapillary neoplasm), much rarer. Doctors said surgery was all treatment I needed. They’ve transported me to hospital in Warsaw in order to fix my Wirsung’s duct. I went home 31 days after surgery. I’ve lost 12 kg, I wasn’t eating, I was exhausted, I didn’t have any strength, I had a huge scar across my whole body – from the bottom of my breast to the navel. But I was alive. I was healthy. Of course, I have thousands of appointments with a lot of doctors. I still have ECPW procedure, because my Wirsung’s duct isn’t working properly. But I’ve graduated university – I am psychologist. I have also completed postgraduates studies and become psychooncologist, which helps me in my voluntary work. I am spreading my story so maybe somebody will go and check his health condition. I was lucky because it was the last moment to discover cancer. Timing is crucial. And I had the best support I could have ever dreamt of – my family, my friends, my doctors – my huge army which helped me survive. I am cancer survivor. And I am proud of myself. And now I am living my life even fuller than I did before.