Decatur woman battles pancreatic cancer - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Decatur woman battles pancreatic cancer

Teresa Sharp (Source: WAFF) Teresa Sharp (Source: WAFF)
DECATUR, AL (WAFF) -

Pancreatic cancer is aggressive with few symptoms until the cancer is quite advanced. The 5-year survival rate is less than 5 percent.

One Decatur woman is trying to beat the odds.

Teresa Sharp is a very active woman.

"I was just preparing for a half-marathon, and I was doing a long run and the next day I had phlebitis in my arm,” she said.

Phlebitis is the inflammation of a vein. It can happen in cancer patients. She said her husband, an orthopedic surgeon, mentioned it to her family doctor who asked her to come in. She put it off for a while.

"I finally did and he had me do a series of tests and the blood work was fine,” she said.

But a CT scan would later unveil a hidden enemy. Her husband had access to the scan.

"I just pulled the scan up on the computer at the hospital. The radiologist who read it, who I know well, didn't even know that it was my wife. And so I went and talked to him after the scan and then I went and talked to Dr. Prickett, her family doctor at the time." said Scott Sharp.

As he toiled at work all day, Sharp pondered how best to tell his wife she had stage four pancreatic cancer, which was also in the liver and blood stream.

"I had a full day of clinic and surgery, and once I finished that, I came home and told her and then we went and met with Dr. Prickett,” he said.

"And I knew pancreatic cancer was the worst,” said Teresa Sharp.

“I don't know what went through my head initially, but my heart was very, very heavy,” said Scott Sharp.

"We spent the weekend trying not to let our children see what was going on and reading way too much on the Internet, which I would never recommend, because all that matters is your case,” said Teresa Sharp.

The children were eventually told, and Teresa began a journey of chemo every other week for three years.

"We did all of our treatment here in Decatur. You know, a lot of people want to go somewhere else. But unfortunately, for pancreatic cancer, there really isn't a lot of options. It's one protocol,” said Scott Sharp.

Three years later, she is beating the odds.

"There's absolutely nothing remarkable about me. I don't eat a special diet. I don't, you know, maybe I was in better shape because of the running, at the beginning, but all I can say is the grace of God and the prayers of the saints,” she said.

"How else can you explain it? She's a miracle as far as we're concerned. She's my miracle anyway,” said Scott Sharp.

Both admit they feel very blessed.

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