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Video: Pancreatic Cancer Survivor RogerA pancreatic cancer diagnosis can be a hard pill to swallow. Listen to Roger discuss his experience with CTCA and how he and his team of experts planned out the best pancreatic cancer treatment program for him.
Cancer Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer
Completed Treatment 2006
CTCA Hospital Treated at
Care Team Included
Treatments at CTCA
- Is a 7-year+ pancreatic cancer survivor
- Enjoying time with family, including his 15 grandchildren
- Working as a machine tool sales engineer
- Attended Celebrate Life® in 2009 as a five-year survivor
- Speaks with others fighting pancreatic cancer through the CTCA Patient-to-Patient Network
"I have truly been blessed when God gave me my healing seven years ago. He gave me a gift I could never have earned nor deserved. You would think that I would be living a life in humble fear as a result, but I fall far short."
Roger Stump, Pensacola, FL
I was 52 at the time of my stage IV pancreatic cancer (pancreatic adenocarcinoma) diagnosis with metastasis to my liver. It was August 2004. I had no symptoms from the disease. I had not been sick in 20 years, not even a cold! The cancer was discovered on a routine un-dyed CT scan after receiving my second kidney stone lithotripsy treatment. I was referred to a local surgeon who ordered a biopsy of my liver.
After waiting a week for the results, the pathologist bungled the diagnosis and said I had fibrosis of the liver, only to change his mind an hour after the surgeon confronted him. Apparently he forgot to run the “SPIN TEST.” By then Hurricane Ivan was bearing down on Pensacola, so my wife and I decided to go to Tampa to see the top pancreatic cancer doctor in Florida.
After sitting in an overcrowded waiting room full of very sick people, the doctor looked at my CT scans from Pensacola for five minutes, turned around, and told me I had ONE YEAR TO LIVE! He said that chemo would only make me sick and was like deer hunting with a BB gun! He suggested a regimen of Gemzar but said that it would only slow the cancer down a little bit and give me a few extra months.
I asked him how many patients he had seen with my type of cancer and he said “1000 and they are all dead,” he went on to say that he had never heard of anyone surviving it. After all of this, he then asked me to get my affairs in order and return the following week to begin treatments. I left there determined to get another opinion, because I was convinced that this was not going to kill me!
A few days later I went to Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) in Zion, Illinois where they re-ran all the tests and told me that they could do something for me. They exhibited HOPE and common courtesy that I had not seen at the two previous facilities. After eight months they got the cancer into remission (June 2005) as verified by a PET scan; and I have been clear ever since.
My treatments consisted of FUDR and Leucovorin pumped into a mediport for four hours a day over five days. One day during the five-day session I was given inter-arterial chemotherapy (Mitomycin and Cisplatin) directly into the liver and pancreas. This routine was repeated once per month over the eight months.
After that, I returned every three months for a CT scan, blood tests and physical exam. Also they had me take an oral chemo (Xeloda) which was stopped on June 5, 2006 after another PET scan still showed no cancer! My CA19-9 test results have been in the mid 20’s for over a year now. My first CA19-9 test results in late 2004 were in the thousands!
I experienced very little side effects during the treatments at CTCA: no hair loss, no nausea, very little weight loss, no extreme platelet loss, no white blood cell loss, and very little red blood cell loss. Along with the chemotherapy, they gave me natural supplements: milk thistle tablets, green tea tablets, fish oil tablets, maitake mushroom tablets, melatonin, selenium, and vitamins A, C E and B6. Also, I changed my bad diet to include lots of broccoli and vegetables, buffalo (much leaner that beef), no fried foods, and no processed meats with nitrates (hot dogs, sausage and bacon), lots of distilled water, and no sodas.
I also asked God to reveal to me what I had to do spiritually. My answer was to get rid of unforgiveness. I went to about six people who I had held grudges against and asked them to forgive me. I also kept a mindset that God was going to deliver me from this hopeless disease. Also, the support of my wife Brenda kept me going. Without her I would not be here today.
After talking to many people at the hospital, I found that the doctor in Tampa was not alone! Doctors all over this country give a similar death sentence to their cancer patients. The mind is a powerful tool in the fight against cancer. When a cancer patient listens to and believes a negative doctor, the patient starts to program their demise. They convince themselves the treatments won’t work. Many have literally died almost to the day, the time the doctor gave them!
I thank Jesus every morning for the gift he gave me and that I never lost HOPE and the belief that I would be delivered from this scourge. I plan on living well into my 80’s - Thank you JESUS!
August 23, 2010
In August 2009, I became a five-year survivor! In June 2010, I had a checkup and my CT scans and bloodwork showed no cancer. I am full of hope.
August 21, 2011
The cancer is still GONE! CA19-9 is 21 and my scans were clear.
June 4, 2012
My life has been very good since going into remission from stage IV pancreatic cancer. Brenda and I have grown from two grandchildren to 15.
Unfortunately, I lost my job in December 2008 from the company that had seen me through my cancer. I had to take a temporary engineering job four hours from home for six months. Since then, I have changed jobs three more times, being careful not to let my health insurance lapse. I currently work as a machine tool sales engineer and love the job. I am 60 now and plan to work to 70, if God allows it.
Brenda and I spend all our free time helping our children and grandchildren, an almost full-time job. I enjoy volunteering for the CTCA Patient-to-Patient Network. I still believe my faith was crucial to my survival. I stress this to every patient I speak with.
I have truly been blessed when God gave me my healing seven years ago. He gave me a gift I could never have earned nor deserved. You would think that I would be living a life in humble fear as a result, but I fall far short.
August 19, 2012
I had an annual checkup this July at CTCA in Zion, Illinois. My CT scans were clear and CA-19-9 was 20.3. On August 26, it will be eight years since my pancreatic cancer diagnosis.