Today, November 17, is World Pancreatic Cancer Day (part of Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month).
You do not want to get pancreatic cancer. This is “the really bad cancer.” It is usually undetectable until far too late, so it has one of the worst survival rates.
My family knows this first-hand because we lost my stepfather, Herb Putnam, to pancreatic cancer in 2008. He was 59. He was actually fortunate in that his cancer was operable and he lived for almost three years after diagnosis. (I wrote about Herb before.)
I have many things I can write about Herb’s illness and passing, but it would be a very personal memoir. But let’s just say watching Herb on the phone canceling his credit cards, and repeatedly saying he didn’t want to explain why—well, it’s that times a thousand.
Jonathan Frakes (Commander Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the director of First Contact, Insurrection and numerous TV episodes) lost his brother Daniel to pancreatic cancer at a terribly young age, and he has been vocal in helping raise money and awareness. Here is a new piece at Trekmovie about his story.
For film score fans, you may remember Henry Mancini died (at 70) from pancreatic cancer.
So did Morton Stevens...
And Alex North.
So did many more cultural figures.
If you are of means, please consider donating to PanCAN.