Dave Paffenroth: Always Insist On More

Looking back on my pancreatic cancer journey, a lot of the details are a blur. One thing that remains crystal clear is that my wife Wendy was by my side the entire time.

She is my partner, my advocate, and my rock. She also helped me keep track of all the nitty gritty details throughout the years. So it is with her help and excellent recollection that I am able to share my story.

I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2012. But in October 2014 I suddenly had trouble controlling my diabetes and I also began to lose weight…. A lot of weight. Within three months I had lost nearly 40 pounds. My stools had turned white and my urine was the color of dark tea. I had terrible “gut pains” and had to run to the bathroom at all hours. My doctor kept changing the pills I was on, but he never looked into my symptoms any further.

Insisting On More

As a longtime volunteer for the ambulance corps in rural Pine Island, New York, I had a glimpse of what these symptoms could mean. I did a lot of research and had a hunch that it was pancreatic cancer. At our insistence, my doctor finally referred me to an endocrinologist and gastroenterologist. I’m so glad that we asked for more. After completing a CT scan and a few other tests, they discovered a tumor on the head of my pancreas.


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