Jill Evison

In October 1989 I was woken up with a terrible pain in my back. Having some medical knowledge (I was an xray technician) I immediately thought "kidney stone", but did some palpation and thought I could feel a lump vaguely under my stomach. In very short order, I saw my Doctor - had an ultra sound - had a laparoscopy - and was found to have an inoperable tumor in the head of my pancreas. I was started immediately on 6 months chemotherapy - one week on, three weeks off - it was brutal. I had 5 days 5FU and 3 days 5FU plus Stretozocin.

In the meantime I researched everything I could find - not easy in those days - and spoke to any survivor of any cancer, who I could find. One point kept repeating over and over, and that was meditation. Now WASP's don't meditate, but by golly I quickly learnt how, and concentrated on visualization, diet, stress reduction, and drank gallons of wheat grass juice. I'm not sure what the last thing did, but something worked. Perhaps it was because I had a solid tumor, and I concentrated on stopping the blood supply to that tumor - but after the chemo (which in itself had a rather poor chance of doing anything much) the tumor was down to a size where, with a bit of a risk, the surgeon could get it out. Thank goodness for a brave surgeon - he died a few years ago of pancreatic cancer. I went to his funeral and cried and cried.

So that was the cancer gone - the recovery, with 3 months in hospital and learning to live with life after a whipple procedures was more technical than medical, but it was a huge learning curve.

Now, 20 years later, I am healthy, 123 lbs, a diabetic for 3 years (which was inevitable) and have seem my 2 children married, and have 5 grandchildren.

I play first violin in 2 orchestras, do yoga, walk my dog, paint, collect stamps, travel, cycle, go to Probus, belong to a german conversation group for non native speakers and attend functions etc with my husband who is a councillor in our local municipality.

I belong to the Cancer Societies Connections volunteer group, and talk to anyone who has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, or who faces a whipple resection - that sort of thing. One of my contacts told me about your website - it is very impressive. One can survive - it is not guaranteed, but it lowers the odds of dying, and the more we spread this word, the more people will survive.

Thank you,

Jill Evison
(birthdate 7.11.1940)

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