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Chris's NET Story

Chris was 44 when he was diagnosed with a 7cm (likely grade 2) pancreatic NETS tumour. He had run an off-road marathon just 4 months before his diagnosis. Chris' original prognosis was 3 months but adjusted to 5 years after discovering the tumour as a NET. He was given no chance of surgery but opted for chemo + octreotide to increase time.


Chris visited Peter MacMillan Cancer Care in Melbourne and readied for PRRT. After 8 months, the tumour had shrunk unexpectedly and a month later his case, including 3D virtual reality scan results, was peer reviewed by Stamford and Sydney universities.


An 11-hour 'whipples' operation took place after 10 months of chemo, and included intervention radiology and vascular transplants. The surgeon said all parts of the surgery had been completed in Chch hospital but never in one operation and it was 'at the limit of risk'.


Post surgery complications were numerous, but the main issue was an inability to consume the calories to maintain weight. Chris lost 15kg and carried a feeding system for 6 months during which time he returned to work, slowly gained weight and built up fitness. His goal was to ski from the top of Porters ski field in six months, which he achieved.


Two years post-op, another small, grade 3 tumour was detected requiring a further operation, which was difficult but successful. He requested post-op precautionary chemo but had a life-threatening bleed-out after round 1. Chris argued there was no proof it was chemo related and successfully fought to continue the final three rounds, which were incident free.


Two years after the second operation, Chris had clear MRI & CT scans, has resumed backcountry ski touring, gyms 4-6 times per week, travels and has ownership / Director roles in seven businesses.


He maintains his NET cancer experience has created more upsides to his life than downsides.

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