I would like to introduce myself, my name is Grace King and I am a 53 year old housewife with Pancreatic Cancer. I am writing to tell you about my story and hopefully to bring awareness of this horrid cancer.
In April 2014 my father and younger brother were both in hospital at the same time. My father had his second stroke within 2 weeks and my brother had Pancreatitis and put in ICU and on life support. They were both in two different hospitals and there my journey began with working full time, trying to be a wife, mother, daughter and sister. When my brother was admitted to hospital his partner and I were advised that he had only 48 hours to live, upon hearing this I was firstly shocked and secondly I thought how do I tell my elderly father that his youngest child only had 48hrs of life. I would finish work and go and see my brother and from there I would travel to see my father, this took place on a daily basis and by the time I reached home it would have been around 10.00 – 10.30pm every night. I had lost between 10-15 kilos in a month, I also felt extremely fatigued and tired, I had a pain like a ball just under my breast bone and this penetrated through to my back, my legs were itchy (I based this down to my stockings and kept saying I needed to change the brand), I had also had gastro like symptoms. Having all of this I based it down to my stress levels never once thinking that there was ever anything really wrong. Well I was wrong in feeling this, because these are the symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer. This is why this cancer is so devious, unforgiving and aggressive because it gives patients a short life span and no real sign that there is something wrong.
As the weeks and months went by, I had to try and explain to my brother that Dad did not have much time and that we needed to prepare ourselves. This was difficult in itself as it was heartbreaking to tell him this in his condition, but I had no choice. My brother was all wired up and had drainage tubes everywhere he was classified as being septic as he had attained sudo cysts and most of his Pancreas had disintegrated inside his body. He had two operations with 24hrs for the surgeons to pluck out bits of his Pancreas out of him and we were not sure whether he would make it. It was difficult to get my brother and Dad to see each other for the last time, I had tried to take Dad to see my brother only to be told that Dad would not make the car trip. My brother then arranged with the doctors to have himself unwired to go and see Dad. The Hospital allowed my brother an hour to visit Dad. This was such an emotional hour for all of us.
My travels to and fro from the hospitals went for three months, my father passed away in late July 2014 and this was a very sad time for both my brother and myself. It was after a month of dad’s passing that my daughter had stated to me that the whites of my eyes were yellow and my skin was also jaundice this was on a Sunday. On the Monday (1 September 2014) I got up as normal and made lunches and then went to get ready for work I physically could not move and I told my husband ‘I can’t do this’ he then told me that he was taking me into the hospital.
On the 2nd September 2014 I was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. When I was told of this my whole life changed, the most difficult time was when my husband and I had to tell our children this was such an emotional time. But the worst was yet to come as my surgeon had told me that I was inoperable and my prognosis was not good and I was given a very short life span. I turned to my husband and told him that I was and am going to beat this unforgiving cancer. I was also thinking as to how we were going to cope emotionally (more for my children and husband) and how we could cope financially.
I have started this website to ask for the communities assistance in making donations for this horrid cancer. Unfortunately, there is very little if hardly any funding for this cancer and no recognition and it is my vision to raise $50,000 by the end of this year for research and for awareness of this cancer. I feel that it is important that people know about the symptoms and not to think of the symptoms as just being related to stress. If I can help at least one person then I have achieved one of my goals.
Unfortunately, this cancer is one of the top four deadly cancers and it astounds me that funding is basically zilch and is not recognised as it should be.
You might ask what are the symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer well the following are the symptoms and which are the common symptoms of this disease and that I had and in which you can assume would relate anyone thinking that because they are under stress they would take these for granted.
1. Gastro like symptoms
2. Loss of weight – unexplainable
3. Tiredness - Fatigued
4. Feeling Itchy
5. Pain in the back
6. Jaundice – Yellowing of skin and eyes
Although I do not hold celebrity status or have the financial backing I am only a housewife who wants to bring awareness and raise some funding to help others as much as I can and this is why I am trying to raise funds and awareness of this cancer even whilst I am still undergoing Chemotherapy and I am working closely with Deakin University in that when, not if, but when I have raised the $50,000 for the NABNEC Study (which is led by Dr. Mustafa Khasraw) they will be able to have two full time researchers to solely concentrate on research for Pancreatic Cancer.
Please see the links at the top of the page for news, more information on the NABNEC Study details on how to make a donation.
OUT OF THIS NEGATIVE I WOULD LOVE TO MAKE A POSITIVE
I hope that you can assist me in getting this message across to all Australians as this is such a silent and deadly cancer.
PROGRESS TO MY GOAL