One of the cancers that unfortunately has the worst survival rate is pancreatic cancer. Celebrities like Patrick Swayze and Apple CEO Steve Jobs both died from the cancer, in the last several years, but one man in Baldwin County has beat the odds. Roger Stump will tell you that statistically, he shouldn't be alive. He shouldn't be here enjoying life with his wife and grandchildren. A doctor told him nine years ago, that with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, he would be dead in six months. Stump says, the doctor told him, "The bad news is you have Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. A tear streamed down his (the doctor's) cheek and he started crying."
After getting two separate opinions from two doctors, one in Pensacola, and one in Tampa, Stump ended up at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Illinois, where he received chemotherapy on and off for two years. He also took many nutritional supplements. He is now cancer free. His wife, Brenda, says, he remained positive the whole time. "He said, 'I am going to beat this. I am not leaving.' He encouraged me. I finally came to believe too." Roger adds, "I was given a miracle. I absolutely was given a miracle."
Stump is a miracle when it comes to pancreatic cancer patients. The prognosis isn't usually good. Only six percent of patients live five years. Dr. William Hixson, with Gulf Coast Cancer Centers, says the pancreas is located in an area of the body that is so close to other organs. "They are aggressive because they are in a location where there are critical structures, and they often don't have symptoms until they are more advanced."
Roger Stump urges other pancreatic cancer patients to try to remain positive, even though it's hard. He says, "I stress the mindset and the faith. If you don't believe you are going to get better, you are not going to get better."
Nine years after his stage four pancreatic diagnosis, Stump is continuing to hold onto hope that he has many more happy years together with his family.