Surviving Pancreatic Cancer

Mickey Olsen's home is like a little oasis for her
and her husband, Tom. Gardening was my saving grace. But I think the more
I have my hands in the dirt, I. I could escape the threat. The death threat
that was hanging over me back in 2006. She was only given three
to six months to live. She had stage four pancreatic cancer only about 3% with that diagnosis survive. I look just like this. You look in the mirror
and somebody says you're dying. Really? Maggie has always been active and healthy,
but when she was in her thirties, I had these strange feelings of abdominal inflammation. That I would come and go. She chased these symptoms for years. Then that discomfort spread all over
and became more constant. A CT scan revealed this. That dark spot on her left
side is the cancer.

I was not one of those patients. You could tell to get my affairs
in order and just. Whoa. You know, I think
I think resilience helps a little bit. They immediately started her
on chemotherapy, the scans and my blood tests. So that my tumor had shrunk 50%. And my oncologist was pretty stunned. They sent me back to the surgeon
to plead my case. After surgery, she got more chemo
and 26 rounds of radiation. Now she's been cancer free for 12 years
because he was one of the outliers who responded to two chemotherapy and radiotherapy
with with resolution of her disease. Dr. Michael Saunders checked up on her
each year after her treatment. He hopes research will lead to more cases
like Micky's. And the ideal test would be a blood test
that would tell us that the patient is heading down
a pathway to two pre-cancer You don't want a test that tells you
they have cancer.

That's too late. McGee says there is hope,
as every patient is unique. And one of the things that helped her
was weeding out the negative. Life is too short to be messing with
things that are upsetting you. You kind of got to deal with the treatment,
but I think a lot of people can make it through it
and you have to give yourself that chance. From the UW Medicine NEWSROOM
in Seattle, I'm Katie Chen..

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