Anthony, 64, was diagnosed in 1994 with pancreatic cancer and recalls his experience 22 years post-surgery.
In March 1994 I remember feeling that I had been losing a lot of weight and then I got the photos back from my Mum’s 70th birthday and the pictures showed my eyes were yellow.
People had been telling my sister that I didn’t look quite right and I had also been getting sick at work, so I decided to go and see my doctor.
He took one look at me and knew something was wrong so did blood tests and sent me for scans over the next few weeks. Then, on the Sunday night of the World Cup, a doctor called me to say they weren’t quite sure what was wrong but they’d like me to come in on Tuesday for a test and to put a stent in to take away the jaundice.
On the Wednesday, the doctor told me that the tests had shown that it wasn’t what they thought, so they then did a CT scan and I was told that this showed a growth on the pancreas. They said that I would need to go to hospital to do a Whipple’s operation. On the Monday, I had an angiogram and on the Tuesday I met with the surgeon who told me that that they would do the Whipple’s op the next day.
Two weeks later, I was told that the growth on my pancreas was cancerous but after a few more scans, I went home that week and was back at work at the end of October.
I was told to take it easy and started taking Creon. I haven’t followed any diet and eat what I like. I’m quite a fussy eater and like junk food, steaks and the usual stuff – I just lead a normal life. I was lucky as I didn’t need any chemo and, to this day, I believe that if I hadn’t have gone to the hospital I did, I wouldn’t be here today.