My name is Pauline. I’m a 76 year old mother of two, grandmother of six, great-grandmother of five darling boys – three I would never have met if it hadn’t been for Mr. Hilal and his team.
It is six years in April 2016 that I went to the bathroom and my stools were black like tar. I knew what that meant because this had happened to me 15 years before. At that time I was diagnosed with Non Hodgson’s Lymphoma. I had a mass removed and then chemo every three weeks for 6 months.
My doctor sent me to the hospital right away where I had scans and an endoscope ultrasound. A growth was found on my duodenum right next to my pancreas. A few days later I went to outpatients to see a surgeon, Mr. Hilal, who explained that I had pancreatic cancer and I would have to be assessed to see if I was suitable for a “whipples” operation – I was so scared.
A few days later I had an appointment to see the anaesthetist and had more tests. I was told that I had 6 months to live if I was not suitable for the 7 hour operation. I had a small growth removed from my lung a few years before and he was not sure that my lungs were good enough to survive the operation.
They gave me a chance and I had the “whipples” operation in April 2010. It was a huge operation taking away a large mass as well as my bile duct; part of my stomach; gall bladder; duodenum and most of my pancreas.
I was in intensive care for 8 days and then on the ward for 3 weeks. It was a massive operation and very frightening So now I just had to get better! It was great to get home after 4 weeks to be with my family.
Later it was back to outpatients and Mr. Hilal who was pleased with my progress. He arranged for me to see the oncologist and to take the chemotherapy if offered. But the oncologist said I was too weak so no chemo for me – I was very upset about this. However, with the cancer removed and the high standard of care, I am still here today and living a very good life with my family and friends.
I’m so lucky to be a small part of the Liver and Pancreatic Research and Development Cancer charity. They are funding important research to improve the chances of people like me with this condition. I also enjoy my time with the Eastleigh Fusion Choir and so far we have raised over £6,000 for the charity.
I must say it is just wonderful to have support and advice from Jo Dowell, my specialist pancreatic cancer nurse. I can phone her any time with any problems I might have - and I have had a few. She will assess my issues and inform Mr. Hilal who will see me as soon as possible. It gives me and my family such a great feeling to know that they are so caring.
I’m so happy to be one of the 3% to survive pancreatic cancer thanks to Mr. Hilal, a very caring surgeon who always seems to be there when I need him and Jo Dowell and the whole nursing team whose devotion is second to none. Thanks from me and my family for saving my life!