Towards the beginning of 2011 I started noticing my blood sugar was unusually high. I went to a doctor and was told it was possibly type II diabetes. I decided to make the appropriate lifestyle changes to live a better life with this disease.
I became concerned after I lost a lot of weight – too much weight. I was adhering to a better diet and exercising regularly; however, the amount of weight I lost was too much to have been from those two changes alone. When I went home during the summer that year, my family noticed the drastic change as well. One of my nieces said I looked like a cancer patient. They couldn’t have known that was actually the problem.
That October, after experiencing stomach problems and a kidney stone, my doctor performed a CAT scan. The results from the scan showed masses in my liver and pancreas. The following biopsy revealed it was cancer. I visited at least three different doctors and endocrinologists, and finally had a diagnosis. As much as I was relieved to know what was happening to me, I was very scared of what would happen next. I was told I had a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor, the same disease Steve Jobs had recently died from. That made me really concerned. I couldn’t imagine how someone with his resources wasn’t able to fight this disease. What were my chances? My healthcare team assured me that there were treatment options available to me.
I was responding well at first, but eventually my side effects became too much to bear. I visited a doctor to explore surgical options. The surgeons were able to remove most of the cancer and we found a therapy that worked for me. Although I was slowed down for a little due to side effects, I am back to enjoying the activities I love such as sports and riding roller coasters.
© 2015 Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. August 2015 IPS00305