January 26, 2016 was the 7th anniversary of my pancreatic cancer operation, called the Whipple procedure and being in remission. Following the procedure, I went through 30 radiation and 18 chemotherapy sessions. There is reason to celebrate, as pancreatic cancer has a 95% mortality rate and only 5% of patients make it past five years of survival. I thank and praise God for my extra 7 years of “new” life.
In the summer of 2008, while sign waving for Mayor Mufi Hannemann’s re-election campaign, I lost 40 pounds. There were some articles in the paper about diabetes – type II, and I had all the symptoms – excessive thirst, frequent bathroom breaks, blurred vision, and unexpected weight loss. My doctor confirmed the diagnosis and I attended diabetes classes, started injecting insulin, and taking blood sugar readings four times a day. However, my doctor was still noticing high numbers for my liver and ordered a CT scan which showed a blockage in my pancreas. He ordered surgery right away. The Friday before surgery was when I learned it was the “Big C” – cancer. Fortunately, it was caught at Stage 1 and there was no sign it had spread.
Through all of this, I praised God for a successful operation, no pain, and a peace that passes all understanding. I want to thank Jesus for dying on the cross for forgiveness of my sins and for all sins, with the hope of eternal life. Since then I have been able to participate in the Great Aloha Run and I am an avid photographer so have donated my time and service to the American Cancer Society, taking photographs at almost all of their events on Oahu. Why the American Cancer Society? Because I can, I am DETERMINED.