Lead with love: Meet @marciak9

Jun 27 8:00am | Teresa, Volunteer Mentor | @hopeful33250 | Comments (11)

Member spotlight @marciak9

TERESA: What brought you to Mayo Clinic Connect?

@marciak9: I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in October 2022. The tumor was wrapped around an aorta and making it too complicated a surgery to do locally in my town. I was given the choice to be referred to experts at Mayo Clinic or the Health Sciences at the University of Minnesota University. I chose Mayo Clinic. As a patient at Mayo Clinic, they recommended I join Mayo Clinic Connect to share information with others. 

TERESA: What motivates you to take part in Mayo Clinic Connect?

@marciak9: I like to help others with my experience, what I’ve been through, and any helpful tips that I can pass on. I also learn a lot from the others through their experiences.

TERESA: What about Mayo Clinic Connect makes you feel comfortable to share and to be open with the community?

@marciak9: It feels safe and comfortable. I’ve met a lot of new friends on the site.

TERESA: What support groups do you participate in?

@marciak9: i primarily take part in the discussions in the Pancreatic Cancer

support group. I also follow the Cancer, Chronic Pain, Mental Health and Neuropathy support groups.

TERESA: Tell us about a meaningful moment on Mayo Clinic Connect.

@marciak9: It’s helpful to talk with others on Mayo Clinic Connect and discover that many of us are in the same boat. There are many times I’ve been comforted knowing that I’m not the only one experiencing specific symptoms. I’ve learned so much from members, especially @markymarkfl and @stageivsurvivor

TERESA: What surprised you the most about Mayo Clinic Connect?

@marciak9: It’s really surprising when a member brings up a symptom that reflects exactly how I’m feeling. Or I put in a question and I get a ton of feedback that’s all very helpful. I have lots of friends and family to support me, but they don’t know what I’m really going through.

TERESA: What energizes you, or how do you find balance in your life?

@marciak9: Walking seems to be the best thing for energizing me. I have two small dogs that love to go on little walks, so I take several a day. It really manages my mood and my strength. I also try to stick with many small meals a day or snacks that are healthy.

TERESA: Tell us about your favorite pastime or activity.

@marciak9: My favorite pastime is embroidery on my sewing machine. I love quilting, knitting, crocheting (in particular diamond and dots patterns), felting and reading. I never know what my day is gonna look like and these activities help me enjoy my time.

TERESA: Do you have a favorite quote, life motto or personal mantra?

@marciak9: I have a couple of personal mantras. One of my favorites is: “Fake it til you make it.” I feel that if I put a smile on my face I’m a happier person. I can see that it transforms the person I’m talking to as well. Another is: “Lead with love.” I don’t like confrontation and seem to avoid it by just loving. 

TERESA: Puppies or kittens?

@marciak9: I simply can’t resist either. Currently I don’t have any kittens, just two puppies. It’s amazing how they watch over me and can tell when I’m hurting. They always want to snuggle up and comfort me.

Member Spotlights feature interviews with fellow Mayo Clinic Connect members. Learn more about members you’ve connected with and some you haven’t met yet. Nominate a member you think should share the spotlight.

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I am so glad that I had the opportunity to interview you for this great Spotlight, @marciak9!
You have shared your journey with Pancreatic Cancer in a way that is inspiring and encouraging to all of us. Thanks for being part of Mayo Connect as you, "Lead with Love."

REPLY

Do you have someone who can go with you to appointments and procedures? I think it helps to have another set of eyes and ears, an advocate. I was fortunate to have my wife with me, and I have been going with her. I am a Waldenstrom survivor for 9 1/2 years and she is undergoing chemotherapy (Surgery was two months ago) for ovarian cancer.

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@royce

Do you have someone who can go with you to appointments and procedures? I think it helps to have another set of eyes and ears, an advocate. I was fortunate to have my wife with me, and I have been going with her. I am a Waldenstrom survivor for 9 1/2 years and she is undergoing chemotherapy (Surgery was two months ago) for ovarian cancer.

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Hello I do bring someone with me to appointments and I also record them. I find it really helpful if I can’t remember exactly what the doctor said and I can go back and listen to the recording. I just had a nerve block at my Celias plexus and I thought it was permanent but as they were putting the under, I asked the doctor and she said no it’s not permanent. I’m sad because I thought I could get off the oxycodone, but it’s nice to have it because the pain is excruciating. I have it in my abdomen.

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@marciak9 you chose well when you picked Mayo. Teresa @hopeful33250 thank you for the great Spotlight interview.

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I like your mantras. Thanks for sharing your story. It’s quite inspiring.

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@marciak9 thank you for sharing yourself with us.
I pray for your continued health and well-being.

Blessings,
Susan

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@marciak9

Hello I do bring someone with me to appointments and I also record them. I find it really helpful if I can’t remember exactly what the doctor said and I can go back and listen to the recording. I just had a nerve block at my Celias plexus and I thought it was permanent but as they were putting the under, I asked the doctor and she said no it’s not permanent. I’m sad because I thought I could get off the oxycodone, but it’s nice to have it because the pain is excruciating. I have it in my abdomen.

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HI. That is so smart to record your appointments!! I write notes, both to ask the doctor and then to recall what the answers are. I hope you get some relief with the nerve block. You have a great outlook in life!!

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I have 2 little dogs too & both have become alerting dogs!
I have sleep apnea & whenever I fall asleep, even watching TV, one lays on top of the back of the sofa & if I have an apnea episode, she steps down on my shoulder & gently nibbles my earlobe!
Even at night in bed IF I fall asleep before putting on the CPAP, she will lay above my head & step down and nibble on my ear lobe to remind me to put in the CPAP !
It’s the 6th sense they have ~
Knowing danger & reacting to it! God made dogs for our health & protection 🐾

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@sommerreign

I have 2 little dogs too & both have become alerting dogs!
I have sleep apnea & whenever I fall asleep, even watching TV, one lays on top of the back of the sofa & if I have an apnea episode, she steps down on my shoulder & gently nibbles my earlobe!
Even at night in bed IF I fall asleep before putting on the CPAP, she will lay above my head & step down and nibble on my ear lobe to remind me to put in the CPAP !
It’s the 6th sense they have ~
Knowing danger & reacting to it! God made dogs for our health & protection 🐾

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I’m a dog lover for sure since a little girl. I’m Cynthia an I am Crohns Disease survivor of 30+ years (before there a name for the disease).
Question
I can I converse with doctors and patients who suffer with my disease?

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