Since writing that post, over 120 people have lost their battle with this beast. 120 Loved Ones have fought for their lives against a ferocious opponent... and lost... in the last 24 hours.
Pancreatic cancer does not play fair.
In that same time, 150 people have been devastated hearing the words "You have pancreatic cancer," and they are just beginning the fight.
The burdens are heavy for those walking this road.
The way I see it, there are 2 choices.
Give up. Or Fight.
And I am not really Warrior material or anything... Fighting has never been my go-to. I'm pretty much non-confrontational, you know, the peace-maker of the bunch. But when cancer came to call at our home, something rose up inside me.
For a solid year, we warriored harder than ever before. Mom's pancreatic cancer diagnosis wrecked us... and we fought it like crazy people
We researched, we prayed, we pleaded, we sought 2nd opinions, we trudged through treatments, we tried alternative methods, we refused to give up.
This is what fighting a cancer diagnosis can look like. And if you're here, then you already know that. Everyone fights a little different. We all pick up the weapons that fit best and here are some of the best we've found:
1. Knowledge. We've said it over and over... Knowledge is power. Know your cancer. Know your options. The place to start is at one of these pancreatic cancer associations:
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
2. Gather your medical team... persevere until you find a doctor you trust... they will be holding the line for you when the chips are down.
3. Know your Tumor. Ask. And ask again. Badger your doctor if you must. But apply to have your tumor tested with the Know Your Tumor protocol. Seek information on your tumor to find the most effective treatments.
4. Explore Clinical Trials. They are our best hope for finding a cure. It just takes one break-through to change the course of this battle.
5. Surround yourself with your people. Loved ones, family, friends. Let them help, lean on each other. I can't say it any plainer... let love carry you through when the hard overwhelms. For some this will be easy, for others not so much. But find your tribe. When you do, amazing things begin to happen...
- Run, Bike or Walk to Support Pancreatic Cancer Research
- Attend a Purple Light Vigil to raise awareness of Pancreatic Cancer... We Honor. Inspire. Remember...
- Write a Cancer Manifesto... trust me, you'll want to read this Love Story from Jen Hatmaker!
- Find a need and fill it... like ChemoCar or Developing an Early Detection Test for Pancreatic Cancer or maybe even finding a tiny place on a website to Encourage and spread Hope. When your passion and your purpose collide, lives will be lifted up and forever changed.
- If you are the Caregiver, then Be the Gift... you are a Meal Bringer, a Hospital Sitter, a Card Sender, an Appointment Keeper, Insurance Organizer, Attentive Listener, Kleenex Provider and Love Giver. You are Blessing in this nightmare... never doubt your ministry over the Cancer Warrior!
6. And finally, Just Breathe... take a deep breath and get centered. Let Hope settle over you like the answer to prayer it truly is ... God's strength as He holds us close will always, always give Grace enough for the journey.
Warriors rise up... Choose the Fight... It is past time to end the terrifying reign of Pancreatic Cancer.
We do this in Honor of and in Memory of the Valiant Heroes in our midst...