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Without Hope, We Have Nothing

A Pancreatic Cancer Story

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Updated August 09, 2010

Updated August 09, 2010
Without Hope, We Have Nothing
A Pancreatic Cancer Story

Guest Author Alison Doyle's (About.com's Job Searching Guide) father fought a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.

A Common Bond: Pancreatic Cancer

My thoughts and prayers are with you, I'm thinking of you and your family, my hopes are with you... How many times have I written those words this year? How many times have I heard them? I have no clue. I've lost count. It has been too many times. That I know, for certain. I've said it mostly to friends that I share a common bond, pancreatic cancer, with. I've said it as treatment fails, as loved ones are lost, as difficult life and death decisions are made, or as brave souls venture into new treatment or a clinical trial.

Pancreatic Cancer: The Silent Killer

Pancreatic cancer is known as the "silent killer" because the symptoms are vague and could be many other diseases. Common symptoms include jaundice, pain in the abdomen, upset stomach, gas, indigestion, weight loss, loss of appetite, fatigue, onset of diabetes, and depression. My father had some of those symptoms for years. He was diagnosed with diabetes just two months prior to being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

He was also very active (still went to the YMCA to swim three times a week, volunteered, was writing a book) and in excellent health, even though he was 76 years old. One of his doctors thrilled my dad when he told him that he was a "young" man and he was. I never thought of him as sick, until the end, or as old.

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