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PC Symptoms and Jamie’s Story

image2Symptoms of pancreatic cancer can be weight loss, abdominal or back pain, diabetes, or jaundice. Physical symptoms are not very specific to the disease and are often mistaken for something else. Patients can even be asymptomatic. The bottom line is pancreatic cancer is hard to diagnose and even harder to treat. Nikki Mitchell Foundation is working hard to prevent, detect and cure pancreatic cancer.

Jamie Thornton, a friend of NMF, shares the story of her father’s journey:
My father, James Drury, was a Vietnam veteran (a captain and platoon leader), a general manager, and a great leader and father. He loved life, outdoors, people and food. He was a heavy-set guy and we were excited at first when he started to lose weight, but when he started having severe pain in his stomach, he finally went to the doctor. The doctor was positive about his weight loss and encouraged him to keep cutting back on food.

Around November, a few months after the initial pain and losing 50 pounds, he started hurting a little more when he ate and I talked him into going back to the doctor twice. By the end of the week we had a diagnoses of a tumor in his pancreas. After a slew of hospital visits and tests, we found out he had two pancreatic tumors, with one on a lymph node, liver tumors, and spots in his lungs. The oncologist recommended he start chemotherapy and also participate in an additional clinical trial that might decrease the spread of the tumors from the lymph node.

Throughout all of this, Dad was very positive and strong in his faith and believed that with any outcome he was a winner because he either got to stay with us on earth or go to heaven.

We scheduled the chemo and he made it through only two treatments. After the second round was over, Dad could barely stand up. He had an adverse reaction to the drugs, wound up in the hospital twice, and then we were told he only had a few weeks to two months to live. We were sent home with hospice care.

We were blessed that Daddy came out of hospital feeling better this time and over the next month, as the chemo left his body, he was able to return to some fun activities that he enjoyed like fishing, shooting and visiting with friends he hadn’t seen in years. He actually had a full pain-free week once and felt like maybe he was cured. Then, at the end of May, and after watching my daughter graduate from middle school, he started declining rapidly. A week and half later he was gone. I believe he is a winner in that he is in heaven and he has left a wonderful legacy to his kids, grandkids, friends and family. He maintained a wonderful outlook throughout the whole experience.

We experienced some difficulties, like doctors not being clear about survival rates and honestly explaining to us what to expect. I also wish we had known earlier that weight loss is a major indication that something is wrong and that maybe he could have had a chance of beating the disease.

Watch the Inspiring ‘Miss Sharon Jones!’ Trailer

“They said I was too fat, too black, too short and too old,” powerhouse singer says. “And look at me now.”

By Althea Legaspi June 30, 2016/sharonjonesRolling Stone Magazine

The trailer for Miss Sharon Jones!, the documentary that traces soul singer Sharon Jones’ career and ongoing cancer battle over the course of a harrowing year, has been released. The Barbara Kopple-directed film will open in New York and Los Angeles this summer with plans to expand nationwide.

The inspiring clip opens with snippets of Jones’ career accomplishments, from concert footage to late night TV appearances. But before she received hard-won attention in the national spotlight, she worked odd jobs, including serving as a corrections officer, and had to combat ageism and more. “It was tough. They said I was too fat, too black, too short and too old,” she says in the trailer. “And look at me now. All this hard work is finally paying off.”

However, in 2013 as Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings were about to release a new album and tour, Jones was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The trailer showcases her triumphant survival spirit as she returns to the stage. “The show must go on,” she says.

In September 2015, Jones revealed her cancer had returned. However, she and the band continued to tour while she underwent chemotherapy. “I’m going to do what I have to do. I’m going to sing,” the singer said at a documentary screening during the Toronto International Film Festival, adding that her diagnosis won’t keep her from “giving the people what they want.”

Miss Sharon Jones! opens on July 29th in New York and August 5th in Los Angeles.

Watch the trailer here: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/watch-the-inspiring-miss-sharon-jones-trailer-20160630#ixzz4DB0TXnSt