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** UPDATED: April 18, 2020 **

Aloha from Annie, Claire’s Daughter.

Thank you for visiting my mother’s blog about her journey living with pancreatic cancer.  It is with great sorrow that I inform you my mother died on April 13, 2020 from complications related to her pancreatic cancer diagnosis and COPD.  She died peacefully at our home together in Hawai’i, 12 years after her initial diagnosis.

My mother found great comfort in writing and sharing her journey with you all.  This blog will continue to live on for the foreseeable future in order to help others who’ve been diagnosed with cancer; however, the site will not be actively managed.  It was my mother’s desire to take her writings and publish in book format, so my family will be working on doing that over the next year or so.  If you would like to receive notice when the book is available, please email “worldinbalance [at] icloud.com” and we’ll be sure to inform you.

Additionally, my mother’s story is featured in the book “Cured: The Life-Changing Science of Spontaneous Healing” by Dr. Jeffrey Rediger, M.D. which you can find in hardback, audio, or digital versions wherever books are sold.  I am currently reading it and it’s a wonderful, hopeful insight into how to heal ourselves from the inside out, and an encouraging call-to-action to the Western medical industry to treat the person first, not the disease first.  My mom’s search for understanding after her terminal diagnosis led her to the same conclusion as the other patients Dr. Rediger studied: “Live a meaningful life in the time you have. Face the prospect that you may die, but don’t give in to despair. Be aware that ‘we have more power than we know when it comes to healing.'”

On behalf of my mother, I wish you all peace, love, hope, and life-changing discovery on your journey with cancer.  Claire really did live life to the fullest during her last 12 years on this earth, and I know she is soaring through the cosmos still spreading her magic and her message.

With so much Aloha ~ Annie

*******************************************************

You’re probably here because you, or someone close to you, has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I was diagnosed with “ductal pancreatic adenocarcinoma arising from a high grade IPMN” in 2008. I was terrified and confused. I went to the internet right away, hoping to find something to hold on to. There wasn’t much. There were and are sites that will explain what this is and give information on treatment, sites for those affected to talk with each other, sites that lead you through the procedures involved with this, sites that give you alternative cures, sites that describe treatment, sites that talk about research.

IMG_0060I went to them all and didn’t find the help I was hoping for. I remember watching a man writhe in agony post Whipple on YouTube, I listened in on chat rooms, I surfed the web a lot, alternating between shock and fear. I would get up after a particularly hideous entry and walk the house, breathing too fast, my throat tight with what I called the terrors, sometimes shaking, sometimes crying. I felt like a two year old dumped off at the fun house; reality was so altered that I sometimes didn’t recognize myself.  But time passed, I didn’t die (in 2013 I was told that the tumor was gone) and I thought back to how bleak it all seemed to me, how hard it had been to find real help with the emotional toll this diagnosis caused. In the 5 years between those two dates – being diagnosed in 2008 and being told I was tumor free in 2013 – I went through a lot of changes, some self-imposed, some from outside. I kept a journal during those years, writing about what I was afraid of, what I wondered about, how I made decisions, the tools I found to use, the people in and out of medicine that helped me on all the different levels of our existence – physical, emotional, mental, spiritual. Living With Pancreatic Cancer is a story of my reflections and discoveries, something that I hope will help you as you travel your own journey of illness.

The difference in my story from others is this: I didn’t have any medical treatment. I explain in other entries how I came to that decision, but basically I didn’t think I had a chance of living – everything I read or heard told me I would die soon – so I decided for as dignified and as medically-free a life as I could construct, for the time I had left. So this blog isn’t about giving you the secret of survival – because I don’t know the secret. I might have done something right or my healing might be one of those billion to one happenings that mean nothing, except to the person involved (that’s what my doctors have said – that my experience has no medical value). In a way, it’s like winning the lottery; the odds are hugely against it, but people do win. Nevertheless, during those first months I looked long and hard on the internet to find someone who had survived this without treatment. Everything said there is no remission, there is no survival without treatment. I’d like you to know, there’s at least one.

What I can really talk about with some certainty is healing on the levels that aren’t physical. In the end, the work and reflection I have done on the different levels of being have been the gift that cancer gave me. It led me to know how deep the bonds of friendship run, how much wisdom is available in books, websites, CDs, how the practice of prayer andIMG_0273 mediation can save your sanity, how carefully you need to shelter your heart. I believe I learned enough to have had a good death, had that been my immediate path. Now I have a good life, but different from pre-diagnosis. The tools I used to get through this, the issues I have tussled with, the emotions that I have dealt with, the frustrations and elations that I have experienced, the puzzles I have pondered are the focus of the blog. I have done so much research, read so many books, been in so many groups, that it’s time for me to share what I’ve learned. Perhaps it will cut down a little on your own research, perhaps it will let you know you’re not alone with this, perhaps we can even laugh together. Over time, I’ve come to realize that this is as much a community resource and a toolbox as anything else. I hope you find something here that will make your cancer journey a little easier.

So you know where I’m coming from, I should tell you that I have one foot in the scientific world and one foot in the spiritual world. I value scientific studies and the treatments and understanding that come from them, as well as medical treatment. I also value the spiritual world, and the power of healing that comes from it. I take what each has to offer me. The bottom line for me is what works. If a sing with sand painting done in ceremony and community heals, I am all for it. If a new medicine heals, I’m all for it. I don’t have a rigid belief system about either side of this particular divide. In fact, I don’t think it is a divide but a continuum of healing. I do have a strong belief, however, that healing is a very individual thing. By that I mean I don’t think there’s the single right path to healing for every person. Each person has their own strengths and weaknesses, their own genetics and family dynamics, their own story and culture and each heals in their own way; what works for one may not work for another.

HOW TO USE THIS SITE

You will notice at the top of this page there are several categories. In First Steps, I write about what happened to me those first weeks, how I was feeling and how I dealt with what I was feeling. It features a lot of the questions I was asking myself. If you are newly diagnosed, you could start there. In Techniques, I write about the different methods I used to deal emotionally and spiritually with the diagnosis. In Diet and Environment, I write about the physical changes I made. Attitude and Facing Death deal with hard things, places to find courage, ways to do what needs doing. Healing is kind of a catch-all category; I write about my experience with the medical world, the energy world, reflections on illness and my perceptions of what healing can be. There is a Resource category where I list the sites I have found helpful, the books I have read, the CDs and DVDs I have watched and listened to. When I find something that needs to be added, I’ll put an update date in the upper right corner to let you know something new has been added. And of course, my Thanks to all the people who have helped me so much.

And just a note: this really isn’t a blog because blogs are ongoing, maybe daily thoughts. I’m using the WordPress blog platform so I can provide this site free and without advertising (thank you WordPress). I will add things occasionally, as news pops up or as a new post wants to be spoken, but the basic information and thoughts are already in place.  I update frequently, so keep checking back in for updates.

How to Navigate this Blog: The nature of a blog dictates that the first article written is the last in the queue. So if you want to read from the beginning, start with the last entry in any category (at the bottom of the section may be a “older posts” phrase in gray. This will be where the earliest posts are). Especially if you are dealing with this as a new diagnosis, I’d start at the beginning (which means the last entry). That’s where my heart and soul were put, those first few years.

Navigating hints:  If you ever get lost, you can put your cursor on the title of the blog “Living With Pancreatic Cancer”, click and be taken back to the home page. Also, at the top of each entry, in faded grey, are posts you’ve visited in case you want to go back or forward. At the bottom of each entry, in faded grey, is an icon for the category you are in. Just click on any of these, depending on where you want to go, for easier navigating.

 

15 comments


  1. John Coult

    Hi Ms. Haser!
    I have read a lot of testimonies and your story stands above all others. We are so grateful to you for recording so many details and giving us so much useful information. I will try to be brief by simply saying that your success story in beating such a ferocious form of cancer validates Dr. Turner’s conclusion that 70% of the approaches to beating cancer are mental and spiritual, as opposed to dietary changes.

  2. Hello Claire, just want to say thank you so much for sharing your story! I’m perhaps an unusual visitor to your site. I’m not a cancer patient, and I don’t know anyone close to me who has been diagnosed either. I’m just a fellow human interested in real and honest and authentic stories of suffering and healing. I heard a conversation between Kris Carr and Dr. Kelly Turner, and that somehow lead me to your site. Your journey is so inspiring for everybody, because – in my opinion – cancer affects us all, even if we have the good fortune not to develop the symptoms.

  3. Rosemary Campbell

    Thank you for telling us your story. I’m a person who does believe in the kind of healing you are describing. It’s not easy to get people to believe these things but I know they are true.
    I have not had your medical experience but I do believe in Nutritional and healing roads to survival from cancer, leukemia and many other diseases, and I believe that some of the methods people resort to in the medical community lets their cancer kill them.
    I believe in Nutritional and Spiritual healing and have experienced this in someone else.
    A relative of mine more than 25 years ago came to me saying she had leukemia and I could see bumps all over her skin which she said was cancerous tumors.
    I as a Psychic communicating with guides in spirit was told to prescribe vitamins and amino acids for her particular body type and tell her not to do chemotherapy and she agreed to become a guinnea pig I suppose and within a year of the vitamin therapy she said she was in remission.
    I must say she also became pregnant and so did the antibioties with pregnancy help in her treatment with vitamins and amino acids or did the vitamins and amino acids put her into remission?
    All I know is she is still alive and had no chemo or anything like that.
    I have no medical facts to prove this because my sister told me I couldn’t have her childs medical records and said if it worked so be it and let everyone else find their way to remission, and so for that reason I don’t have a copy of her medical records to prove what I’m saying.
    All I know is my guide in spirit has been teaching me about what kinds of vitamins, especially the B-complex vitamins and amino acids in foods and supplements will keep people healthy and possibly help them recover from debilating diseases like Cancer and leukemia.

  4. JD. MD.

    Hi Ms. Haser, I am a physician doing research on those individuals who have found health when doing so was thought to be impossible. Would you mind speaking with me about your experience? You have a wonderful story and I would love to better understand your experience.

    Thank you for creating such a great website of your story. I’m sure that it’s helpful for many people.

  5. Diagnosis from CT Scan last week stated I had Adenocarcinoma of pancreas, until proven otherwise.

    I turned my blog into a journal and plan to chronicle my journey. Your layout here is great. I have only read your About page 🙂

    I will be coming back to read more, however, I am mentally preparing today for a PET SCAN. My veins are small and roll so I am very anxious about the skill of the technician of hitting that vein!

    Look forward to reading your story.

  6. Ingrid Tirtasana

    Please tell me more about your diet and how I can prepare myself psychological for fighting my cancers ( breast and pankreas).
    Thank you so much ! (I live in Germany)

  7. kelly

    my mom had stage four pancreatic cancer which almost took her away from us after a lot of treatment we where told of a good doctor who God will always favor and he helped my mom and that is why i would love for you to contact doctor allen(allenpresleymed@gmail.com)..he is a good doctor and am glad to refer you to him because he helped my mom and i know he can also help you.

  8. I have pancreatic cancer and seek to be cancer free as all others! I’m working toward that end each day!

  9. Judy

    Hi Clair..this site popped up & I decided to read it & I know when God wants me to do somthing I do it! I have breast cancer for the 3rd time..every 9-10 yrs..1st time lumpectomy & radiation..2nd time above breast on chest had chemo..then June 2018 on sternum which is a visible lump. I was 2 days away from startg the chemo pill when a dear friend who we had cancer 3x together told me about an Intuitive Discerner Nurse. I knew immediately this was what I was meant to do. My friend’s cancer had gone to her lungs & unfortunately after much chemo & mayb not stayg strict wth nutrition she passed in Nov 2018 but I know God sent her to me for this reason. It’s been 6mos on a strict nutrition & blood type diet & I feel awesome. I also use some essential oils. I plan on gettg a PET Scan in a few mos & I’m praying it shows cancer is shrinking..I. KNOW IT WILL! Sometimes I don’t want to even talk about cancer..I kno I have it but I don’t feel it & that’s bc I’m eating what my body loves now! I’m not feeding cancer I’m starving it! Thank you for sharing ur story.

  10. Steingrimur N Hermannsson

    There are many powerful natural substances in herbs and mushrooms that many have used for complete remission. Have you explored the effectiveness of these with TCM or people with this experience? If so, what are the particular herbs and plants that you have been successful with?

    • Yes indeed there are many substances that would heal us I’m sure. At first I drank pao d’arco tea, drank essiac tea, changed my diet, added turmeric and black pepper, dropped salt, did acupuncture, etc. A wise doctor once said to me that everything out there will heal somebody, that’s why there are so many testimonials. But the trick is finding out which one fits which person. I just knew that I did not want to put myself in a space of chasing a cure and becoming focused on being sick rather than whole. As a general rule, I lean towards community healing, eg. as the Navajo do in sings. But that requires a tight community and healers who have the time to learn it all. That’s so fragmented in our world, but I keep out hope for the future. Thanks for commenting.

      • Pat

        what is the rest of the ‘etc’ u mentioned? We are desperate. Thx

        • Annie

          Aloha Pat,

          This is Annie, Claire’s daughter. Thank for leaving a message on my mother’s blog. My mother entered hospice care in July of 2019 as a result of her pancreatic cancer diagnosis and ongoing struggles with COPD, and she died this past Monday.

          I am so terribly sorry you feel desperate, and what I’d like to offer to you right now is step away from your computer/taking in information and go walk in nature (if you can right now). Take some deep breaths and go through a quick list of the goodness you have in your life vs. the bad. It won’t solve your current crisis but it will help your brain reset, and allow some good feeling endorphins to flood into your system and boost your immunity.

          My mother tried whatever modalities and methodologies felt right to her, and I would offer you should do the same. She didn’t have all the answers, and just because she did take or do something doesn’t mean it works for all. In the end, there was no magic bullet to save her life. What my mother’s focus was on always was living the best life she could in the time she was given, and that’s all any of us can hope for.

          I do hope you find what you need, and that your journey is filled with as much peace and joy as possible.

  11. Rosie

    Annie,
    I just found your mother’s blog today. I am so sorry to hear of her passing. I am currently dealing with the same diagnosis and navigating my way through this journey. The advice you gave about walking in nature and using whichever modalities feel right rather than seeking a “magic bullet” is so wise. Thank you for the kind reminder…especially for taking the time to share your energy with others at this time. May peace be with you.

    • Annie

      Aloha Rosie!

      I’m so happy you found my mom’s blog, and I am so sorry you have received the same diagnosis. I know my mom shares on this blog what her first day/first week felt like but, let me just say from an outsider looking in, those were some incredibly hard weeks for her. So, please be gentle with yourself — always, but especially right now. Do whatever you need to do to just put one foot in front of the other, and some days that means napping, drinking wine, going for walks, watching Disney movies (my mom’s personal fav, she loved Disney/Pixar cartoons), napping again (hah!), going for a long drive (in the age of COVID, this might mean a long drive without stopping), drawing, singing, dancing, Amazon shopping — whatever brings you joy! The endless searching for information can definitely take its toll, and it definitely did on my mom in the beginning.

      Right now, I’m reading the book “Cured” that I mention at the start of this home page (the book also features my mom’s story and journey with Pancreatic Cancer). I must tell you — it’s an incredibly uplifting and positive book, for anyone! Dr. Reidinger does an incredible job holding true to patients’ stories, and linking them to ways in which we can, often times, be our own best healers. I recommend you buy it. I’ve been reading about a chapter a day, and there is so much learning and healing in his words. I would also recommend Stephen Levine’s “A Year To Live”. Now, this book will ask you to think about death, your own death, and for my mom that was “life saving” for those 12 years she lived with Pan Can. It sounds counterintuitive, but thinking about her death gave my mom such peace, a peace she’d never known before.

      One last thing I’ll mention is, my mom found great comfort and support in her great group of girlfriends (she also definitely let go of toxic relationships almost immediately). These girlfriends were often the group that she could confide in the most, and they gave her a non-judgemental space to just be her. It can be hard to talk about a terminal illness, especially cancer with its historical gravitas, with your spouse, your parents, your children because they are wrapped up in how they relate to you and what they need from you. Family can be tough — they’re grieving in their own way from your diagnosis, and often want you to experience it the way they’re experiencing it. I know my mom shared mostly factual information with us but kept her innermost feelings for people she knew could hold her and give her space. I wish I had known more about my mom and her experience with her cancer but, honestly, seeing how much love she got from her friends, and knowing that my attachment to her identity as “mom” would possibly get in the way for both of us, I am so grateful for those girlfriends. And, so thankful she could really be herself those last 12 years (especially the last 3 years when the cancer came back).

      I wish you peace, I wish you great healing, I wish you joy, I wish you new experiences that perhaps weren’t available to you before. And, I send you great love from across the ocean. 🙂 <3

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