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Let's start from the beginning. . . . this past May I started feeling very fatigued and just didn't have the energy like I usually do. The kids noticed that I wasn't my spunky, social self. Most of you know I'm usually not at a loss for words. . . but I became very quiet, was more to my self and was having to take a couple of naps during the day. I became extremely itchy from head to toe over Memorial Day weekend and noticed that my urine was now a dark orange color. As someone who struggles with going to the doctor, the kids finally gave me the ultimatum . . . if I didn't make an appointment, they were going to make one for me! On Tuesday, June 6th I saw a P.A. in Sauk Centre and she immediately noticed that I was jaundice which indicated something was going on with either the liver or pancreas and she order a CT scan for Friday, June 9th. The CT scan showed that the bile duct between the pancreas and liver was blocked. The doctor then referred me to the St. Cloud Hospital to have an ERCP procedure. On June 13th I underwent this procedure which involved placing a small plastic tube into the liver in order to drain the obstructed bile duct. During this procedure, the doctors located a mass on my pancreas. Without a biopsy he could not say for certain that it was cancer but everything pointed in that direction. That night, the kids insisted I get a referral to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Tara called my primary care doctor in Sauk Centre and the Mayo Clinic that same night; the following day at 11:00 I received a phone call from a nurse at the Mayo Clinic letting me know that they accepted me as a patient.
On Tuesday, June 20th I had my first appointment at the Mayo Clinic. I met with a GI doctor who ordered a bunch of tests. She could tell that I was still very jaundice which indicated the stent that St. Cloud had put in was not working effectively. On Thursday, June 22nd I underwent an additional ERCP procedure. This time, however, they put two stents in with the hopes this would improve my color and ultimately my extreme itchiness. On Friday, June 23rd I underwent an ultrasound biopsy and was told they would contact me the following week with the results. On Tuesday, June 27th, the doctor called and confirmed our suspicion that I have pancreatic cancer. And so our long journey begins. . . but with my deep faith, my loving family and great friends I truly believe I will triumph over this battle.