Monday, January 27, 2014

Pancreatic Cancer

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” -Albert Einstein

Life has a tendency to fill the wagon you pull with rocks. These rocks range from small pebbles to large boulders. Each of these rocks are constantly being removed by you in order to lighten the load.

You use these rocks to lay a path for your journey in life.

A few years back in 2008, my family had those rocks fill our wagons with my mother having the largest burden to carry. In her late seventies, she was been diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. Yes, the same cancer that received momentary press coverage when the actor Patrick Swayze was diagnosed as well.

It is known that in America,

- one in three women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.
- one in two men will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.

Of those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer,

- it is the 4th leading cause of cancer death in the United States.
- it is the 3rd leading cause of cancer death among 40-59 year old men.

Approximately 38,000 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year in the United States and nearly 34,000 people will die from it. The number of Americans diagnosed each year of pancreatic cancer continues to rise unlike other leading cancers where an investment in early detection has led to a decrease in cancer incidences. Survival rates for pancreatic cancer have remained in the single digits for more than 40 years. Today, the five-year relative survival rate remains at just 6 percent.

Reading all of these statistics can overwhelm a person and my intent is not to beg for sympathy for her. My intent is to help raise awareness and to ask you to consider becoming involved. You can visit Pancreatic Cancer Action Network to learn more and donate dollars to aide in research efforts.

My bigger purpose is also to celebrate my mother's life.

Today is the anniversary of her birth and of a great life lived. As you could expect, you know how much each of us love her, laugh and cry while we remember the courageous battle she fought against this cancer.

Life as we understand it is finite at some point, but it does not mean we give up on it. Miracles happen, people live long and healthy lives, and we embrace the time that we have.

As you embark on your own journey of life, take a few moments to do what you can to help others improve their own journey.

Stay inspired my friends!

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