About

I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in November 2010. I had no idea where this bolt-from-the-blue came from. All I knew was that I wouldn’t capitulate without a fight.

Almost a year to the day of my diagnosis, I turned 63.  I have no wish to tempt fate, but hope that I can help pancreatic cancer suffers like myself, to join the fight.  So I decided to publish this blog. 

My mother was a BRCA2 gene carrier and so am I. Life works in strange ways. The gene might be a life saver. Read on….  all comments welcome.

 

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2 Responses to “About”

  1. Jane June 12, 2012 at 2:56 am #

    Martin,
    Hi! Hope you don’t mind a question or two 🙂 I am so intrigued by your approach to fighting your pancreatic cancer. I continue to turn to your blog following your updates, cheering on the good fight! My mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in November 2010 also, and we started a website/blog to document her battle, mostly as a way to give back to the many who lifted her up and became our lifeline. Her prognosis was 3-6 months just as I believe yours was, she made it a year before losing the fight. We miss her terribly, but are continuing the website in her memory, fighting the battle she can no longer fight. We truly believe there is a cure out there, and I think that’s why your story intrigues me so…
    Which leads me to the questions 🙂 You mentioned early on that your first onclogist team suggested Gemzar, but that Dr. Isacoff immediately told you not to use the Gemzar. Could you share his reasons? It is obviously not a cure, mom was on Gemzar, and at most, it gave her a few added months. But I was curious as to his reasoning, and what course of chemo he suggested? And then I also had some questions on the ketogenic diet. We had read some studies on the sugar aspect, feeding the cancer cells, but never saw anything on the ketogenic diet. You have explained it so well thru-out your blog. It makes sense on a biological level. Pretty much starving the cancer, and in the process helping your body fight well. Mom had a lot of trouble eating meat though. Beef really soured in her stomach. Do you have any trouble with all the meat in the diet? Mom also had a real battle with losing weight and finally just ate anything with calories in it to try and hold steady. Looking back I can see how we really just fed the cancer. And of course, none of her doctors ever gave any guidance nutritionally speaking. The most she got was advice to use Ensure and other protein drinks (filled with sugar)…
    And finally, thank you for letting me ramble. If mom was here, she would be asking these questions and more! And feeling very blessed to have “met” you. Would you mind if I shared your blog on the website? I truly believe your story is the kind of inspiration that pancreatic cancer patients need to hear. They need to see that someone else is navigating this nightmarish maze of pancreatic cancer and finding hope. And embracing life. Perhaps sharing our stories will be the grass-root change needed to find that cure, or at the very least, be the spark of hope for even just one cancer sufferer. As you have said, there is unlikely to be much of a clinical trial for the ketogenic diet as no one (insert big pharmaceutical company here) will profit from it… more than sad.
    Thank you again for writing so eloquently on a topic too many are afraid to touch. You have done it with humor and grace and such warmth. Many blessings to you and your family.
    Most Sincerely,
    Jane Schraceo
    http://www.pancreaticcancerjourney.com

    • fightingpancreaticcancer June 18, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

      Hi Jane,
      I was really pleased to receive your comment – especially as it touches on a subject that I have chosen not to: the prospective of the pancreatic cancer sufferer and the perspective of those close to him. I do so empathize with you.
      With regard to your specific questions, Dr Bill Isacoff was emphatic that I change from Gemzar to Folfiriox as soon as possible. As you say, Gemzar is known not to have long term results. At the time, Folfirinox was the best alternative he came up with – and I benefitted accordingly. Since then, I’ve tried Tarceva but he redirected me to my current treatment – Abraxane. New treatments are coming onto the market – but are not yet readily available. Sufferers just have to hang on.
      Regarding the Ketogenic diet – there isn’t much infomation available. Iowa University have just started a research study and we’re hoping they’ll come up with some academically convincing results. Fortunately, of late I’ve had no problem eating meat – which I enjoy immensely. Of course, making sure that it is cooked within ketogenic limitations of sources, etc.
      Finally, thanks for all the compliments. I would certainly apppreciate further circulation of my blog – in the hope that it reaches other sufferers. Feel free to mention my blog on yours – or recommend it as needed.
      Regards,
      Martin

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