Currently Browsing: Pancreatic Cancer

Birthday Thanksgiving

Birthday Thanksgiving

Today, my dad turns 80. That we’re able to celebrate this unlikeliest of birthdays with him is testament not only to his strength and passion for life, but also to the skill and compassion of his medical team over the last 18 months.

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Life (and Training) Lessons from a Year

Life (and Training) Lessons from a Year

One year ago today, my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. As the page turned on the calendar, I took a little bit of time to reflect on what I learned in 2013.

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“Cancer-Free”

Today, we received an early Christmas present: the oncologist proclaimed my dad “cancer-free!” A CT scan showed no cancer remaining following eight weeks of radiation ending about a month ago, and several months more of chemotherapy. His final chemotherapy treatment last week brought him right to the ten-month point in his cancer treatment, which started in early February.

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Ring That Bell!

Ring That Bell!

Today was my dad’s last day of radiation treatment. (And there was much rejoicing!) He’s looked forward to today since the day he first learned he would need radiation. IU Simon Cancer Center’s radiation treatment facility has a “rite of passage” that all recipients of radiation take part in upon completion. As the plaque pictured to the right explains, the patient gets to ring the bell signifying successful completion of the regimen, and the staff and family help them celebrate their accomplishment.

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An Important Anniversary, a New Race, and Thanks

Reflecting on a few things: A meaningful anniversary, my dad’s treatment, my next race, and thanks long overdue.

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PurpleStride San Diego “Race Report” – 13 Oct 2013

PurpleStride San Diego “Race Report” – 13 Oct 2013

During the early morning drive to Mission Bay Park for the San Diego PurpleStride 5K this past Sunday, my mom asked me if I was in “winning mode.” I chuckled, and dismissively said “No!”

Truly, I wasn’t. I wanted to get in a good run, sure, but I was there with my dad and participating in an event that’s taken on great meaning for me and my family.

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Update on Dad – September 11

It’s been a little bit since I’ve updated my dad’s progress in his fight against pancreatic cancer (though we now joke that he is no longer fighting pancreatic cancer, since he is without pancreas). Before the update, a quick note about a new feature on the site.  I updated the About My Dad page.  You can find a complete timeline of my dad’s dealings with pancreatic cancer from initial symptoms to chemotherapy to surgery.  I hope to provide insight into the process for anyone who happens across my blog looking for information about what to expect when dealing with a pancreatic...
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The John A. Braeckel Family Fund for Pancreatic Cancer Research

The John A. Braeckel Family Fund for Pancreatic Cancer Research

I am excited to announce the founding of the John A. Braeckel Family Fund for Pancreatic Cancer Research. Gifts to this account support pancreatic cancer research in the Department of Surgery at the Indiana University School of Medicine, and specifically the work of Dr. Michael House. Dr. House has been a light in an otherwise dark time for my family. Along with a host of other medical professionals, Dr. House gave my dad a good chance to be among the 6% that survive this “insidious” and “nasty” disease.

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Medals4Mettle

At the risk of straying from the blog’s pancreatic cancer theme, I wanted to take a few minutes to call attention to a fantastic charity that I just recently stumbled upon (although it’s been around for almost a decade).  In fact, to tie it in, while I explored their website, I came across the following “donor quote”: “I have run 7 marathons, with two more coming up. I starting running full marathons in 2003, a year after my husband passed away. He died at the age of 37 from pancreatic cancer. Running was one of his passions. Before he died, he made me promise that I...
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Has a Teenager Discovered the Key to Beating Pancreatic Cancer?

Has a Teenager Discovered the Key to Beating Pancreatic Cancer?

Maybe I’m not as “old” as I think. I mean, after all, I learned today that I can identify with a sophomore in high school.

Barely a teenager, Jack Andraka’s life was touched by pancreatic cancer when a close family friend passed away. Like countless others, including me, Jack was inspired to action. His is remarkable action.

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