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Why Aren’t You Dead? October 24, 2015

Posted by Peter Varhol in Uncategorized.
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I’ve heard that on more than several occasions in the past several months. My story is that circa late April, 2015, I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Well, in fact, the doctors didn’t know quite what I had, but they were sure it was bad. Very bad.  I needed surgery within the next two weeks if I expected to have a full life (albeit a limited one, physically).  The hospital was a reasonably good one, as those things go, and my doctors seemed very competent (I saw about a dozen different doctors during my stay).

I was fortunate that a couple of those doctors treated me as a person, rather than a collection of symptoms. I also took control of my health care, did research on my condition (thanks, Dr. Google), and determined that it was premature to talk about surgery.

It turned out well for me. While they still don’t know what I have (or had), I only have very minor vestiges of the symptoms today, and am otherwise fully functional.  Further, as a distance runner, I am doing better than ever.  I fully ran the 10 kilometer race in the Bilbao Night Marathon, just last weekend, and felt wonderful afterwards.

All too often, we lament that medical diagnosis comes too late to do any good. My father, a World War II veteran, saw a doctor for the first time in 45 years when he could no longer stand the pain of his colon cancer.

That taught me a lesson. I will die someday, but I won’t let myself be overcome by that sort of stupidity.

In my case, they wanted to do major surgery, without knowing what was wrong with me. Don’t let that happen to you.  Do your own research, and make your own decisions.

That is all.



1. Ricardo Fuentes - October 30, 2015

Hi Peter,
good to know you are doing well, I have problems with my pancreas myself, but so far all good, diet and exercise in your case always help! 🙂
Kind regards,

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