The Spark that Ignites Our Dreams – The Giving Keys

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March 08, 2016

The Spark that Ignites Our Dreams

Just one week before my only daughter was due to deliver our 6th grandchild, I was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. I had planned to take care of my daughter and our newest angel while she was on maternity leave. Well, she ended up taking care of me.

I had been a very active and healthy person. Loved to walk the beach, ride my bike and cook healthy meals. Doc said there was nothing I could have done to prevent the cancer.

The baby was born and they named him "Jude". (My name is Judith and my husband lovingly calls me "Judes".)

A week after my little carrot's birth I underwent a 9 and 1/2 hour Whipple Surgery. Oh, and the Doc stinted my biliary artery where the tumor had invaded. That was pretty courageous of him. After fighting off a severe infection, I began chemotherapy and radiation for six months.

It was a difficult battle. But, I remained hopeful.
The statistics of survival for PC are horrifying. Only 18% make it 1 year, 6% make it to 5 years. I continue to have hope that I will be here even beyond 5 years.

Since my diagnosis I have learned to live life differently. I no longer dream of things I would love to do, to see, to experience or to have. If I can, I do them. Funny how some of the things I believed I always wanted have become not so important.

My values have changed.
I have learned how important family and friends are. I believe that without the prayers of my family and friends I would not be here. That God is in control.
Everyone needs HOPE. It is the spark that ignites our dreams. My key is HOPE.

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Through the purchase of your Pay It Forward products, The Giving Keys has generated hours of work for people transitioning out of homelessness.