Pancreatic Cancer Patient Stories
At first, Carol Stahl thought the stomach pain she started feeling during Christmas in 2014 was related to heartburn. However, when visiting friends in Connecticut for New Year’s, Carol noticed changes in her urine and bowel movements, prompting her to research her symptoms. The first thing that came up was pancreatic cancer.
In 2013, Melissa Kartasevich was enjoying life, raising her six year old daughter, Sarah and engaged to be married to her fiancé, Dennis Dupre. In April, she woke one morning with pain and discomfort on her left side. Assuming it was a result of sleeping in a bad position, she took pain medication and went to work. By lunch time, the pain worsened so Melissa went to the emergency room. The doctors ran some tests and performed a CAT scan, where they noticed her spleen had infracted, but didn't know the cause. Melissa was admitted to the hospital for five days, where she underwent further tests revealing a suspicious spot on her pancreas. Next, she had an endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) which confirmed the diagnosis. Melissa, 38, had pancreatic cancer. To say she was shocked would be an understatement.
Louis Ciaverelli didn’t have time to get sick, much less for cancer. He was operating his own business, Top of the Line Cosmetic and Fragrance Company in New Jersey. Then, in early September of 2000, Lou learned he had pancreatic cancer.
Tony can't help getting a little choked up when he talks about welcoming his first great-grandson into the world, Lucas Anthony Reres, born March 4, 2010. "Because of Fox Chase, I was around to meet my great-grandson," said Reres, who was 76 at the time. "I never expected to live this long."
In 2007 when Baha Malik started experiencing back pain, he ignored it. “You know – that macho thing we do,” shares the retired data specialist, who turned 78 in 2016. “Finally it got so excruciating that my wife demanded I go to a hospital. When I did that, a biopsy revealed that I had cancer of the pancreas. That’s when my primary physician made arrangements for me to go to Fox Chase Cancer Center – which was a real blessing.”