It’s not a common form of cancer but it is one of the most deadly.
Pancreatic Cancer accounts for about 3-percent of all cancers but if you get it, it’s a tough one to beat.
John Moisan has gotten really bad news twice.
“Once was when a guy said you’re going to go to Vietnam and die and when Dr. Huber said you’ve got pancreatic cancer. Those were the two times in my life where I’ve been truly afraid,” Moisan said.
That was four years ago. Since then, the man who lives in Fort Pierre says that fear turned into anger followed by acceptance. That’s when he got to work researching the disease.
“You’ve got to know your enemy better than you know you,” Moisan said.
Moisan’s doctor, Dr. Gary Timmerman at Sanford Health, says his attitude has been a big help. 55,000 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year and 44,000 will die.
“Overall cure rate of pancreatic cancer is 8-percent. That’s horrible,” Timmerman said.
“Since I was diagnosed, about 13 people in Pierre have died from pancreatic cancer. My goal is to let people know there are resources available to talk to your doctor. Communicate any problems you have to your doctor and be firm about it. Pay attention to your body,” Moisan said.
Moisan was losing a lot of weight, so his doctor ordered a scan. Thankfully, he was a good candidate for surgery. After that and chemo, he is now a survivor.
“He’s a lucky guy and the one thing I’ll take from him and I brag about him is that he doesn’t take it for granted,” Timmerman said.
Moisan and Dr. Timmerman will be at a special “Light The Capital Purple” event in Pierre October 28 to help spread awareness and information about pancreatic cancer.
“I’ve got God and good doctors and family and friends taking care of me and I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing,” Moisan said.
Educating others so they can fight cancer at their best.
The event in Pierre will take place on October 28 from 3-6 p.m.