Dr. Google!

Internet Searches About Cancer: Friend or foe?

The whole first year after I was first diagnosed, I became afraid to research information about pancreatic cancer. No matter how they began each article or website, all I saw was: 


The information also became overwhelming. I couldn’t understand anything I read. So, I stopped reading it. Though sometimes I would copy and paste words from my medical reports into google to see what they meant and suddenly I was transported into the Internet pancreatic doom and gloom world. Then the depression set in and I lost the moment; sometimes the day.

Now that I have statistically beaten a couple odds, I feel a little safer, but I’m still super careful about what I read. The site I trust the most is the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, known by those who are in the “pancreatic know”, as PanCan.  If you are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, it’s the place to begin and you will feel safe on that site, well ~ most of the time!  I have learned a lot from the site, especially from their webinars. 

Recently, my husband and I watched a webinar on the latest innovations in pancreatic cancer. I became excited when Dr. Andre Lowy from the University of California, San Diego mentioned that as part of a new national clinical research program, called Precision Promise, they are going to incorporate the importance of nutrition and exercise. Honestly, I don’t know exactly what he was talking about, but it connected so much with my whole synergy idea that I became excited. I don’t know if my synergy is working, but this statement seemed to suggest professionals were starting to consider it important.

So, I went onto the internet and did a little research with Dr Google and didn’t find much connecting Precision Promise and nutrition. This one article (link) discussed the three most important nutritional and physical impacts of pancreatic cancer on a person: cachexia, anorexia, and malabsorption. The article explains these: An estimated 85 percent of pancreatic cancer patients suffer from cancer cachexia, a condition that causes patients to lose significant muscle mass. Also, side effects of treatment, such as mouth sores or digestive problems, can make eating less appealing and lead to anorexia-related weight loss in patients. And if the cancer… hinders the normal functions of the pancreas, patients can become malnourished and lose weight, as they’re unable to digest food properly due to malabsorption.

Though I found the treatments listed on the chart for these conditions somewhat limited, I suspect that’s because traditional medicine is a bit limited in this area. My synergy approach is a more holistic approach and perhaps this is where holistic approaches could complement traditional treatments. 

I feel like this area needs more research and even more time on the Internet to see what else connects. However, I just can’t do more time on the Internet – I’ve reached my safety limit for today. Maybe another time.

Published by


This is my blog about living my life with Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer—End stage. I joked about writing this imaginary blog when I spent a year on a treatment that allowed me only 10 days to feel well enough to live a fairly normal life. (Actually normal doesn’t even really exist for me anymore!) To earn those good days, I spent the previous 10 days living in post-chemo treatment physical hell – that also became normal in a perverse way. I’m also writing to honor those who are diagnosed with Stage Four Pancreatic Cancer. You might live longer than you expect and I want you to have someone who tells you what that’s like. There aren’t many role models for people with this because, well, they’re usually gone. So, this is for you. Maybe your journey will be similar to mine. Actually, it will probably be very different because “everyone is different.” Even still, maybe this will still be a bit of a guide.

2 thoughts on “Dr. Google!”

  1. I think someone in cancer research needs to include you with your synergy plan! When I tell people your life continues to include Yoga, Zumba, walking, volunter work, connectivity with a large support system and healthy eating they are blown away…..dedpite all the crummy days post chemo! You contine to inspire all who know and love you.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s