BENEFITING: PANCREATIC CANCER ACTION NETWORK INC
On the evening of August 7th of 2013, my father complained of severe left side pain and was taken to the emergency room by my mother. Seven hours later, he was diagnosed with inoperable stage four Pancreatic Cancer that had already metastasized to his liver. We never saw anything of this magnitude coming; he had no symptoms prior to that night.
Until August 7th, my father had been a very active, healthy, normal 57 year old man who spent his free time golfing and being with his family. Instead of spending the rest of the snow-free season (in Wisconsin) golfing, he spent it in the fight of his life. His chronic pain and nausea led to countless trips to the emergency room, he was forced to stop working altogether because he was so weak. The only small bit of light that we had at the end of the desolate tunnel was that he participated in a clinical trial along with aggressive chemotherapy.
It is with pain in my heart that I update this story and let you all know that on the morning of October 6th, 2013, my father lost his battle with Pancreatic Cancer. He was admitted to the hospital on September 25th with complaints of pain, at which time a CT showed that his tumors had grown and chemotherapy hadn’t touched his cancer. A few days after admission, he went into septic shock and was admitted to the MICU. While there, he acquired more infections and due to being in chemotherapy and having his immune system already compromised, he could not fight the infections. An NG tube was put in toward the end as he was not eating or drinking. He had a couple of procedures in an attempt to alleviate that issues that were causing his infections to no avail. We sat at his bedside that morning and told him that it was okay for him to go, because not only was his pain abundantly apparent, but we know that he went to a much better place.
Pancreatic Cancer is the forth leading cause of all cancer deaths in the US and has the lowest relative survival rate of any major cancer. For patients diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer, only 6% of them will live to see the five year anniversary of their diagnosis, yet it remains the most under-funded, under-recognized, and least-studied of all major cancers with only 2% of the National Cancer Institute's budget dedicated to Pancreatic Cancer research. It is largely because the public is unaware of it that Pancreatic Cancer so often goes undetected until it is far too late.
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is a nationwide network of people dedicated to working together to advance research, support patients and create hope for those affected by Pancreatic Cancer. Please help me raise money in memory of my father, Jim Zdroik, to be donated to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
My mother, sister, brother and I would like to offer our thanks to you for your donation. We would also like to thank our friends, family, and church community for their undying love and support to us. Also, a million thanks to the wonderful team of nurses, doctors, NPs, PAs, aides, and other support staff at Froedtert Hospital who helped treat and make my dad comfortable in his end days.