Phil was diagnosed with operable pancreatic cancer in 2011, when he was 59 years old.
In March 2011 I had a blood test for diabetes, the form had been in my pocket for several months. I had been suffering with excessive thirst and stomach trouble for some time but I thought it was all part of the ageing process.
After I had the test my GP phoned the same evening she asked me to come in to see her the next day where she told me I was diabetic. I was put on tablets and given a glucose meter to test my sugar levels.
Over the next 3 and a half months I gradually felt a lot worse and lost a lot of weight, I thought it was the tablets and it got incredibly difficult to control my diabetes. I consulted with my GP several times, I was told I felt this way due to a bug or even the tablets taking time to adjust to my system.
I decided to make an appointment with the nurse at the practice and she sent me for a full blood test. A week later I returned to review the results, I was told they didn’t look right she gave me an appointment to see my GP who also took more blood tests, she also suggested I stop all my medication until further notice.
The eve of the test my GP once again phoned, she wanted me to collect a letter and go straight to A&E, the tests had shown a problem with my liver.
The A&E department admitted me for further tests this is when I was told I had a mass on my pancreas. The consultant had been told by the radiographer that he thought it may be operable so they would not keep me in any longer. They referred me to a specialist hospital. My appointment was for a fortnight later, the consultant explained the mass had grown very close to the main arteries and until they opened me up they would not know if they could get it all.
I was assigned a Macmillan nurse, he told me I was having the Whipple’s operation. I had the operation 4 weeks after being diagnosed the op went well and I stayed in hospital for two and a half weeks. 6 weeks later I started a course of chemotherapy and went on a trial of chemotherapy as well, it was not as bad as I had imagined.
I now control my diabetes as best I can with insulin injections.
I am very grateful for the support of the staff at both my local and specialist hospital.