My own experience with....

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Djarum, Oct 6, 2011.

  1. Djarum

    Djarum SC All-Pro S.C. Charter Member Subscribing Member

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL
    Real Name:
    Jason
    pancreatic cancer.

    In light of Steve Jobs passing, I thought I'd post something very close to me about pancreatic cancer.

    Keep in mind this is in no attempt to take away from Steve's memory. It just felt like a good time to post about it. Keep in mind that I don't use facebook or any social networking site for that matter. I keep in contact with my friends and family through email, text, and phone calls. I also keep in touch through various forums such as these with the various hobbies I have. In many ways I keep much of my personal life close to the vest.

    I appologize to anyone upfront if they feel this isn't the place to discuss this sort of thing. One of the things that I've learned from several members on this site is that there is a close relationship between our photography and our own personal lives, and how our photography reflects or represents our lives.

    I posted back in April some photos from Jacksonville, FL. This is my hometown and where my parents and sister still live. While I was down there my mother was having unusual backpain. Back pain for her was nothing new because she had several arthiritic and degenerative discs. While I was down there, she had a CAT scan done a few days before I left. I'm like my mother in some ways because she didn't want to tell me what was really going on.

    The week after I came back from Jacksonville that she was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. The cancer was inoperable and the only chance was chemo-therapy which might have extended her life by a few months. My mother was a RN and spent years in the hospital. She knew what kind of cancer it was and what chemo would do. She said no thanks.

    I had visited a few weeks later, Easter weekend to be exact. In some ways my mother hated that I had come down. At that time she was still pretty lucid even from the pain medication. We had our last last serious talk. After I had left my sister informed me she was going downhill pretty fast. 7 weeks after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer she passed away. By the grace of God I was able to spend a few minutes with her before she passed. She was 59.

    Pancreatic Cancer has been brought to light about it's seriousness through the deaths of famous people such as Patrick Swayze and just recently, Steve Jobs. While I believe all cancer should be researched and the best medicine needs to go toward that research, there still is just very little treatment options and understanding of Pancreatic Cancer. It is hard to diagnose and when there are symptoms, it usually is too late.
     
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  2. wt21

    wt21 SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 15, 2010
    I think it's fine to post this, and thank you for sharing such personal information. Good health and blessings to you and yours.
     
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  3. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    Yes, Jason, I thank you and appreciate your telling us your personal story. I am sad for your mother's untimely death and admire her for the courage of her convictions. She was clearly a strong woman and mother. I am sorry for your loss.
     
  4. Lili

    Lili SC Hall of Famer

    Oct 17, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    Real Name:
    Lili
    HUGZ, Jason
     
  5. Djarum

    Djarum SC All-Pro S.C. Charter Member Subscribing Member

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL
    Real Name:
    Jason
    Thanks you everyone.

    There is a certain level of irony. When it was time to do a slideshow for the viewing, we had a very difficult time finding pictures of her for the slide show. The irony is that she was the one always behind the camera in all the photo albums. Maybe that's where I got my love for photography from.

    Keep in mind(I'm sure most of the ladies know) that this is Breast Cancer awareness month. My girlfriend's mother is in 3+ years of remission from Breast Cancer. My girlfriend and I are going to try and do a walk in a couple of weekends( we are having trouble trying to get some logistic issues resolved) for Breast Cancer.
     
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  6. dixeyk

    dixeyk Guest

    Good lord...my heart goes out to you. Thank you for this.
     
  7. Andrewteee

    Andrewteee SC All-Pro S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 8, 2010
    Thanks for sharing your story Jason. We are a community that extends beyond just photography.

    My dad had prostate cancer, a more aggressive form of it. He had surgery last year to remove it, but due to his PSA numbers going back up he is currently having hormone treatment and soon starting radiation. He is nearly 70. He feels good and remains optimistic. None of us are going to worry until we are sure there is a reason to - he certainly does not want any of us to dwell on it. Both of his brothers had/have prostate cancer so he is all over my brother and I to make sure our doctors know the family history of it.

    My father-in-law had prostate cancer, my mother-in-law had breast cancer... Seems to be a right of passage these days. And it seems that in most cases there is nothing we can do ourselves to prevent it. But more optimistically, it seems that they are pushing new boundaries for cancer treatment nowadays.
     
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  8. Djarum

    Djarum SC All-Pro S.C. Charter Member Subscribing Member

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL
    Real Name:
    Jason
    I wish you and your family the best and your father many more years to come. Ever need an ear, PM me.
     
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  9. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Real Name:
    Bill
    Jason, my thoughts are with you - a brave posting to make

    Andrew - I'm now almost 65 years old and prostrate cancer, at various stages, seems to be with lots of my friends - I had a scare about a year ago but all now seems well - (I keep taking the pills!)
    all men over 60 years old and maybe younger should be aware of prostrate cancer but I know how difficult it is for us all, but (especially) men, to even admit to any symptoms of illness - putting off any visit to see a doctor - (I am one of the worse offenders and always put such visits off with the excuse that give it a few days and it will improve).

    Cancer now seems to be a tragic part of life at some time for many families but thankfully most cancers are now treatable and awareness improves daily but the initial "scare" is very worrying for us all.

    I feel that the more openly the disease is discussed the better it is for all.
     
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  10. Djarum

    Djarum SC All-Pro S.C. Charter Member Subscribing Member

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL
    Real Name:
    Jason
    Bill,

    Excelent post and stay healthy!

    Oh, and keep taking pictures!
     
  11. dixeyk

    dixeyk Guest

    I'm nine years clear of bladder cancer (6 tumors...1 of which was invasive). It is very sad that cancer has become as someone put it "a right of passage" these days. Even when you are clear of it you aren't because every little ache and pain reminds you of a time when your own flesh was trying to kill you. There is nothing in the world like hearing "you have cancer" come out of a doctor's mouth. I have never felt so alone as the twenty minutes I waited for my wife to make her way to the doctor's office after I heard (it was supposed to be a routine test). The most emotional moment I have ever had (after the birth of my son) was walking with other cancer survivors at a fund raiser a few years back. They gave me a shirt that said survivor on it. I cried. It's my favorite shirt...EVER.
     
  12. Djarum

    Djarum SC All-Pro S.C. Charter Member Subscribing Member

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL
    Real Name:
    Jason
    Stay strong. And yes, you are a survivor. We need more cancer survivors. Thanks for sharing. Lets home you stay remission.
     
  13. dixeyk

    dixeyk Guest

    Your mother sounds like she was quote a woman. She must have been (she gave you a love of photography). Cancer is a terrible disease and my heart breaks every time I hear if it taking another person. I like what Steve Jobs said about death in his address to the Stanford about living each day as if it were your last (that was something the samurai used to say). Something we would all do well to consider. Tomorrow I'll go out and take some pictures...in honor of your mom.
     
  14. Djarum

    Djarum SC All-Pro S.C. Charter Member Subscribing Member

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL
    Real Name:
    Jason
    My mother was a force of nature, for sure. She spent 18 years as an ER nurse. She had her two year degree before my parents got married, but she went back to school part time a few years after I was born to get her Bachelors in Nursing. At that time, she was a mother, a student, and a provider. After that she moved on doing some insurance work. As I got older she took on the job of being the health administrator for the local Job Corps program provided by the Department of Labor. Basically, she provided healthcare for underprivelaged teens and young adults taking vocational classes provded for by the Department of Labor. The last job she had was Chief Health Administrator for the local Jail of a city of 1 million. I think you have to be someone special to deal with inmates and security gaurds on a daily basis.

    Sadly, as I got older and was over 500 miles away, my mother and I weren't as close as I would have liked us to have been. We always think there's always more time. One of the toughest lesson's I've learned in a long time.

    It's funny, my mother liked taking pictures of us kids growing up. She never cared for her picture to be taken, however.