ORANGE resident Jordan Cheney admits he doesn’t know how long he has left to live after being diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer.
But one thing he does know is he’s going to fight for every minute he can to spend with family and loved ones.
Mr Cheney’s described by those closest to him as a selfless man who’d do anything to help out a loved one.
So, in true Jordan fashion, when asked about the fear he faced when dealing with a disease that will ultimately take his life, he was more worried about the family and friends he’d leave behind and the prospect anyone else would suffer from such a horrible disease.
“I found that when I was diagnosed that it affected the people around me more than it did me,” he said.
“They really battled with it and struggled to talk directly to me about it.
“I think about it, sure, but I certainly don’t feel sorry for myself, especially when you think about a child getting cancer, they’re terribly young to be going through something like that.
“There’s a lot more people out there worse off than me.”
Mr Cheney says it’s been a roller-coaster journey since May last year, when he was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
He originally went to see his GP because he felt he was overweight, but after losing five kilos in four weeks he was forced to return to the doctors because he felt “a bit ordinary”.
“He told me my blood pressure was right up and that I needed to slow down a little bit but after doing that for a week I was really struggling,” he said.
“When I went back in he knew something was seriously wrong. After taking some tests I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.”
The original diagnosis was positive, according to Mr Cheney, with the cancer in the head of the pancreas and not the tail, which would have been inoperable.
But after going in for whipples procedure, the original diagnosis of a 4cm tumour was incorrect and instead a 6cm tumour was found and deemed too big to operate on.
Mr Cheney turned to chemotherapy in June, which successfully shrunk the tumour to less than 6mm before he had the whipples procedure to remove it in February this year.
“A series of tests came back and I was told I was cancer free and even booked a trip overseas to celebrate,” Mr Cheney said.
“Unfortunately some further tests came back and revealed I had metastatic cancer which spread into my lungs and liver as well as my stomach.”
Mr Cheney says he’s come to grips with the fact the cancer is now terminal and that he needs to continue with chemotherapy, even just to prolong his life span.
“Chemo is not much fun I can tell you that much, but I’m not about to throw my arms in the air and give up,” he said.
“It will hopefully improve the quality of my life which may be 12 months, two years or five years but I’m going to do whatever I can to prolong it.”
Like many people Mr Cheney was shocked to find out that more Australians die from pancreatic cancer than breast or prostate cancer each year.
He said that was the reason for sharing his ongoing battle with the disease, and encouraged everyone to dig deep for the Pancare Foundation, which he hopes will one day help find a way to detect the disease early and ultimately a cure.
“It may be too late for me but if we can help make a difference and stop this from happening to someone else in the future then we should,” he said.
For information or to make a donation visit pancare.com.au.