Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The "Silent Killer"

While doing some research recently, I discovered that there is a Bill in the House Committee concerning Pancreatic cancer. It was presented in January of 2009. I never knew pancreatic cancer was so deadly until my family had to live through it.

My husband was a healthy man and never complained about anything. Oh he had minor colds, flu and even a couple hernia surgeries due to his job, but other than that, nothing. We never knew that pancreatic cancer was sneaking up and about to take him away from us.

Our Oncologist called it a "Silent Killer" and indeed he is right. He explained that by the time any symptoms present themselves it is because the cancer has spread and is causing problems somewhere else in the body. My husband had his first test to determine what was causing some minor pain. We expected to be told he had another hernia.

The diagnoses of pancreatic cancer tore our world apart. Still, we were sure some surgery and a few weeks recovery time would get him back to normal and back to work. That first test was February 23 and by April 23 he was gone. A "Silent Killer" indeed, because up until the first week of March, he was going to work everyday and looking forward to a long life with his family.

Once the cancer reared it's ugly head, it showed us just how fast it can take a loved one from you. March and April were spent mostly in Hospitals...not that they could do much but to control the pain. In the end, we tried to have him at home with us, as per his wishes, yet the pain was so unbearable we could not control it.

Pancreatic cancer is such an awful disease to suffer through, yet very little is known about it. There are no early detection tests, and the death rate is astronomical. In fact, it is so bad there needed to be a bill introduced asking for more education and awareness and funds to fight this particular type of cancer.

The mortality rate is set at 5 years, yet most don't make it to 1 year. Some only manage a few months after diagnoses. I certainly know these statistics are true. Pancreatic Cancer research is far behind its time. As a matter of fact, pancreatic cancer research is about where Breast Cancer research was in the 1930's.

Read HR 745 for yourself. My article about it is on the side bar. The statistics will overwhelm you. None of this awareness will help my husband, or my family, but it may help someone else in the future. This "Silent Killer" has got to be stopped, or at least slowed down!

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