What cancer were you diagnosed with?

Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Carcinoma


What age were you diagnosed?

30


Amy's Story

My symptoms started in 2012 when my son was 10 months old. I had just gone back to work, and I had been for a run the previous evening and woke up to very swollen glands/neck. I went to the doctors and they thought it was mumps, I continued to feel very bad and feverish for a week or so. I was admitted to hospital as a different doctor realised I may have appendicitis. I had that removed and then began to deteriorate. I had heart failure, sepsis and was later diagnosed with myocarditis and myositis while in intensive care – roughly around 6 weeks (at two different hospitals). I finally started to recover after being showered with all sorts of drugs – having a horrible time and was told very briefly that they had found a mass on the end of my pancreas, nothing to worry about but they wanted to explore further (I guess they were concentrating on all other symptoms).

Unfortunately, these turned out to be tumours that later the doctors realised could have been the cause of all these previous problems. After further tests/scans they realised that the tumours were all over my pancreas, so the only option they felt was to remove the entire pancreas (they managed to save my spleen). I am now diabetic.

The most difficult part of this process was really getting continual bad news (not anyone’s fault of course), and worst of all being told all this in front of my Dad (as my dad wanted to come with me to appointments); which for some reason made things a lot more difficult. I was always thinking about what his reaction might be, and I didn’t want to hurt him in any way. So I started to push away my family, only as felt I needed to deal with bad news – and kept coming on my own.

I had a pretty bad experience the first time around and literally felt like the wait for next operation was a death sentence. The following operation was pretty hard but I was out of hospital very quickly – after 14 days. I find it hard to say it was a success as I still feel like I’m waiting for more bad news. Day to day I’m very positive and happy, I only dread hospital visits and anything/anyone taking the enjoyment out of my currently very happy life. I would like to feel more gratitude towards the doctors who really did save my life, but can’t seem to overrule the very bad memories of my time in the hospital.