Another 9 months passed with the physiotherapy having made no impact on the back pain, she went back to the doctor, this time a locum who reviewed her family history, did an abdomen exam, and insisted she go for an ultrasound immediately. At 3pm the same day, she was called in and told she had pancreatic cancer.
Her tumor was blocking the bile duct and she quickly got jaundice and getting too close to sepsis, so an emergency stent was put in prior to undergoing Whipple surgery in March 2020 followed by 6 months of chemotherapy.
In December 2020, Sandy was told that she was classified as cancer-free (in remission) and for the past two and a half years has been monitored closely. Sometime between her February and September scans, the cancer returned to her lungs. “When you go through the diagnosis, chemotherapy, and the side effects, mentally you are conditioned to the understanding that there is potential for it to come back. With the low 5-year survival rate, you hope that you can beat the odds. I was shocked to hear it, and now I need to get an understanding of what my treatment options are".