what i've learned from pancreatic cancer

Download What I've Learned from Pancreatic Cancer

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  • 1. 1 WHAT IVE LEARNED FROM MY PANCREATIC CANCER THAT CAN ASSIST YOU Monday Club August 25, 2014 ! Wally Eater ! Forward this presentation to anyone you feel can benefit
  • 2. 2 INTRODUCTION How I feel. ! ! 23 Seconds * !!!! * www.LouGehrigSpeech.com
  • 3. 3 AGENDA Pls hold all questions until end If you have a cough or cold pls keep your distance Im taking oral chemo now BACKGROUND ANSWERS TO COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS MY CANCER TEAM WHAT IVE LEARNED FROM PANCREATIC CANCER THAT CAN ASSIST YOU Q&A RESOURCES
  • 4. 4 BACKGROUND Turned 65 Oct 13; Routine labs to confirm I was diabetes free showed problems in late Jan 14 ! Diagnosed Stage 2 (early stage, the reason Im alive today) pancreatic cancer w/margins (tumor between spine & aorta bad location), 2/3/13 ! Whipple surgery (removed 60% of pancreas, 10% of liver & some intestines), 2/11/14
  • 5. 5 BACKGROUND (contd) IV Chemotherapy Mar & Apr 14- unsuccessful Insurance challenge late Apr: from HMO to PPO Pencil beam proton radiation & oral chemo Scripps Proton Center, 5/27-7/3/14 Currently: cycle of 2 weeks oral chemo, 1 week off; repeat until Next major milestone: PET scan & labs, 9/23/14 ! CAN WE ASSIST EACH OTHER? visualizations & prayers welcome; pls forward related research & information (weater@aol.com); email me if you have questions
  • 6. 6 ANSWERS TO COMMON QUESTIONS Pancreatic survivor rates: 50% within 6 mos, 1% in 5 yrs. Prostate & breast cancer survivor rates are 98%+ in 5 yrs (Stages 1-3). ! Related: Im marginally diabetic (no insulin) and was in excellent physical condition that allowed Whipple operation 2/11/14 ! Standard intravenous IV chemo (1x/wk 1 hr) failed after 5 times: 85% gemzar, 15% steroid-- prevents infection & works against diabetes medications
  • 7. 7 ANSWERS TO COMMON QUESTIONS (contd) Lost 20 lbs Oct 13 thru now: off low dose hypertension blood pressure medication ! Side effects of IV: minimal-- light fatigue only ! Side effects of 28 continuous weekdays of pencil beam proton radiation & oral chemo: --- 1 week side effects: soft stool, abdomen pain level 6+, fatigue, skin peeling off feet and fingertips - -- 18 weeks minimal side effects
  • 8. 8 MY CANCER TEAM Primary care physician (PCP): Dr Helen Chang, since Oct 13 Whipple surgeon: Dr Sean Cao, 2/11/14 Scripps pencil beam proton radiation oncologist: Dr Huan Giap, 5/27-7/3/14 treatment dates Scripps oncologist: Dr James Mason, Oncology Department Head, May to present Terrific nurses: Dr Masons nurse also saved me several thousand dollars/mo for 1 drug
  • 9. 9 1. ATTITUDE All my doctors said ATTITUDE makes THE critical difference in pancreatic, and all, cancer survival. ! Medicine is an art, not exact science. Each patient is unique with different outcomes. Order expensive drugs for 30 days as doctor may change drug/dosage.
  • 10. 10 2. MY WIFE & CASE MANAGER My inspiration and reason to live the long haul ! You need an advocate and a case manager as youre medicated and not up to speed. Can be your spouse or a professional manager. ! Take responsibility for your own recovery. Do your own research, make own decisions, dont rely on docs or their staffs, follow up, be assertive- not aggressive. I fired my first 2 oncologists. No = ask more questions.
  • 11. 11 3. BEST DOCS & TECHNOLOGY Shortly after diagnosis I asked a friend, Bob Hovee, a medical device investor Ive known for years, for his advice. He said, and I have followed it explicitly, seek the BEST doctors and technologies. ! DNA specific drugs targeting many cancers will be available in coming years. The ultimate solution is a drug to kill YOUR cancer and remaining residual micro cancers. Minor tech: sleep on right side (organs).
  • 12. 12 4. ASK YOUR DOCTOR- NOW! ! Pancreatic cancer patients have a 50% survival ! rate after 6 mos and 1% after 5 years. Prostate ! and breast cancer patients have a 98+% ! survival rate after 5 yrs www.Cancer.org ! DONT wait a fast growing cancer will kill you!
  • 13. 13 5. PPO, MEDICARE PRIMARY, SECONDARY AND PART D A PPO allows you to select best doctors & technologies (Medicare pays 80%). Supplementary Part B pays 20%. Part D pays for drugs. If Medicare approves procedure Supplementary MUST pay remaining 20%. Part D (drugs) co-pay can be substantial (thousands mo for leading edge). Not Medicare eligible? Select PPO and pay premium.
  • 14. 14 6. STAY IN EXCELLENT HEALTH Work out 4-5 times / week 30+ mins ea; bring BMI into acceptable range; become (mostly) vegetarian and control diet. ! Above may also impact diabetes, as it did me. I was in best health of my life since USAF-- this allowed me to have Whipple surgery and pencil beam proton radiation.
  • 15. 15 7. KEEP IN CONTACT w/ FRIENDS & SUPPORT GROUPS I continue to swing trade volatility and leveraged ETFs. Founded Free Market Traders-- a trading group (all are also investors) who make their living trading. ! Surround yourself with people smarter and more successful than you ! Few pancreatic cancer support groups given low survivability
  • 16. 16 8. UPDATE LEGAL & MEDICAL DOCUMENTS The doctor who did my endoscopy told me I had 3-6 mos to live. Two more doctors said the sam, the next day. Dont accept! ! Update legal & medical documents ! My 7th mo of surviving pancreatic cancer will be 8/3/14
  • 17. 17 9. CONSIDER MORE FREQUENT LABS I would be dead w/o labs every 3 mos & my wife hadnt referred me to her primary care physician (PCP), Dr Chang ! Labs interpreted by Dr Chang raised too many questions. She ordered scans stat and sent me to the hospital the next day. ! Three doctors said Dr Chang was 1 in 100
  • 18. 18 10. HAVE MEDICAL HISTORY, INSURANCE & DOCTORS INFO WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES Have (show page) medical (major operations, vitals, spouse info); copies of Medicare card (cover up last 4 of SSN), insurance cards; each doctors specialty, phone & fax; list of medications (dosage, frequency) Organize medical tests & reports in binder & take with you to ALL appointments here are my 2 binders Have in-home health lined up before you leave hospital
  • 19. 19 Q&A ! ! ! ! ! Let me know if you have questions or want more detailed information. Wally Eater, weater@aol.com
  • 20. 20 RESOURCES Cancer.org Pancreatic Action Network www.pancan.org . Best overview site. You can search for clinical trials, research, treatment by stage, survivor stories, diet, hospice, etc. ! www.ClinicalTrials.gov Most extensive accessible database on clinical trials. Click on patients for how to navigate. ! MySeniorHealthPlan.org San Diego, free non-profit referred by Scripps Proton Center. Identified Supplemental Parts B & D plan options based on my medications.
  • 21. 21 RESOURCES (contd) Why pro