“I couldn’t eat anything without experiencing diarrhea,” she says, adding that after seeing her physician, a scan was ordered. “They said my pancreas was enlarged, but they couldn’t determine the cause, so they sent me to UC for further tests.”
Syed Ahmad, MD, professor in the Department of Surgery at the UC College of Medicine, surgical oncologist and member of the University of Cincinnati Cancer Institute, was able to determine that Rice’s enlarged pancreas was in fact pancreatic cancer, but her faith couldn’t be shaken.
“I knew God had this one,” she says. “I told my family that if they were going to cry and be sad, I couldn’t have them around me. I was keeping the faith. I had a strong support team by side—my sister went to every doctor and chemo appointment with me, and my wonderful brother-in-law drove me anyplace I wanted to go; my daughter and grandkids, along with my church family, prayed for me day and night. We all had on our boxing gloves.”
With the cancer located in the proximity of important blood vessels, it was determined that surgery was not an option, and Rice began to see Olugbenga Olowokure, MD, assistant professor in the Division of Hematology Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, and a gastrointestinal oncologist for the institute, who put her on an individualized chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment regimen in the beginning of 2012.
“I didn’t get sick at all, thank God,” she says. “I watched TV and played games during my treatment. I felt completely fine.”
Now, Rice’s cancer is completely gone, and she says she has God and her team at the UC Cancer Institute to thank for it.
“I’m able to work as a clerk for the IRS office and exercise,” she says. “I even volunteer at Great American Ball Park and at my church, Lee Chapel AME.”
She adds that with the rest of her family being out of town, she’s able to travel to visit them and even took a trip to the Bahamas with her friends in June.
“I’m so thankful for my care team,” she says. “I absolutely love them all. They are blessings from God.
“And for those who get the same scary diagnosis as I did, keep those boxing gloves on, and fight.”
Media Contact: Katie Pence, 513-558-4561Patient Info: To schedule an appointment with Syed Ahmad, MD, call 513-584-8900.