CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A 31-year-old math teacher in Charlotte has been battling stage four pancreatic cancer. She is now cancer-free, but her battle is not over.
What You Need To Know
Robyn Hobson was diagnosed with stage four neuroendocrine tumors of the pancreas when she was 29 years old
She recently underwent whipple surgery to remove the tumors from her pancreas
This risky surgery involved removing part of her pancreas, spleen, gallbladder, stomach and appendix
It’s a day she thought would never come. After battling pancreatic cancer for a year and a half Robyn Hobson wheeled out of the hospital cancer-free. The moment was cherished and celebrated. But her journey has been anything but easy.
Hobson said her doctors recommended she have whipple surgery after her cancer was continuing to spread. The procedure involved removing part of her pancreas, spleen and gallbladder. She later found out they also had to remove part of her stomach and appendix.
“It is just risky; they cut you open and take a lot out,” Hobson said.
Hobson said if she wasn’t young, healthy and optimistic her doctor wouldn’t have recommended the surgery. Her boyfriend, Michael Rodriquez, was documenting the whole procedure on video.
“For me it was super hard,” Rodriquez said. “I couldn’t do anything for her. I’m supposed to protect her and make sure everything is OK, and it’s hard to sit there and watch.”
But they both wanted to share her story. Cancer isn’t pretty, and it can still be hard after.
“Since I don’t have a pancreas, I don’t have anything to help break down the sugars in my food, so this is my pancreas in a bottle,” Hobson said.
She is also a type one diabetic now due to the surgery. This makes it extremely difficult to eat, and she gets sick often.
“I just trial and error with food,” Hobson said. “I try foods, and if they work, I get more of those foods, and if they don’t, I don’t eat those foods.”
But she has felt comfort with the support of others. She joined a whipple surgery Facebook support group.
“I have asked about throwing up, food and babies,” Hobson said. “I told my story to help people, so yeah it is super helpful.”
What she went through will always be with her. But she tries to not dwell on the hardships, but rather the victories.
“I just think it is a miracle that I am alive,” Hobson said. “Every time I look at it [my stomach scar], it reminds me that I am blessed. Whatever you are going through, no matter how bad you feel, you are blessed.”
November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly forms of cancer, because it is often diagnosed in later stages. The National Cancer Institute reports 10% of people diagnosed live past five years. If the cancer has spread to other parts of the body the survival rate drops to 3%.
Rodriquez is raising money for a diabetic pump and medication.
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