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I would actually dream about the party we would have, I would think about how amazing that would feel to see my mother go to the party instead of chemo. Alicia Rivera, Alicia Rivera, has an amazing story of survival.She was diagnosed at 18 with PC, and is now not only a survivor, but is also a nursing student and a curePC campaign participant too. It is very rare to be so young and get that diagnosis and also rare to be a PC survivor.Only 7 percent of those diagnosed with PC survive five years, and an estimated 49,000 Americans will be diagnosed this year, with more than 40,000 of them dying before the year ends, according to the American Cancer Society. I asked Rivera how she found out she had PC and how she coped with the diagnosis at 18. I was young, and so many people said to me they couldn't believe it.I have Crohn's disease, and I had my wisdom teeth extracted in October of 2011. I went into septic shock, and that's when doctors did a scan, they found the tumor, and doctors at first thought it couldn't be PC, but did a biopsy to be sure, and it came it back positive, stage 1 pancreatic cancer. Alicia Rivera said she was shocked and recalled thinking that she was going to die. Doctors performed surgery to remove half of her pancreas, taking with it her gallbladder, a bile duct, lympho nodes and half of her stomach. They then reconnected her intestines to the remaining portion of her stomach. She said she hopes her story will help others stay connected to their bodies and to be aware of potential warning signs. PC is considered the silent killer, because by the time you feel symptoms, the tumor is usually metastasized.

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