Man standing in front of Stonehenge, wearing cap and sunglasses

Mark D

Mark was 52 when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Following successful Whipple’s surgery and chemotherapy, he’s back to work and enjoying life.


Hello, my name is Mark and I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in July 2019. It’s taken me a long time to get around to writing this. When I was first diagnosed I read the stories on the Pancreatic Cancer UK website and it gave me hope, I want to share my story now because I’m still here nearly five years later living a pretty good life.

Noticing I looked yellow

I woke up one morning and noticed I looked yellow. I made an appointment with the doctor for that evening. I think the doctor knew straight away what it was, although he didn’t say, I could tell it was bad from the look on his face. I was in the hospital by 10:00pm. That doctor, as well as many others I met while I was being treated, saved my life! Thank you.

Getting treatment for pancreatic cancer

I had the Whipple’s procedure on 18 September 2019, my dad’s birthday! The surgery was a success. I was transferred from ITU to the ward on 22 September 2019, and was discharged on 27 September with no problems and hardly any pain.

Becoming a diabetic was difficult at first but you soon get the hang of things, especially with glucose monitoring on your smart phone.

The chemotherapy started in November with adjuvant Folfox. At first it was going to be 6 cycles but ended up being 12. It was hard going sometimes, not wanting to eat anything and feeling very tired, but it was not as bad as I was expecting. I finished chemo at the end of May 2020.

Ringing the bell for the end of treatment

I rang the bell on 1 June 2020, but because of Covid my family couldn’t be there. I have had a CT scan every year since and all has been clear, the support from the NHS after my treatment has been fantastic.

I would not have got through this without the love and support of my family.

Now it’s 2024, I am still working repairing appliances. I have had my own business for 23 years. My brother kept things going when I was ill, something I will be forever grateful for.  Life is good and I sometimes can’t believe this has happened, it seems a distant memory.

When I was told I needed the Whipple’s procedure to save my life, I was scared but I knew there was no other way, I thought ‘you’re not getting me cancer!’, I still think that now.

Mark, February 2024

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Life is good and I sometimes can't believe this has happened, it seems a distant memory.