Jamee Leon shares photos of her late husband, Carlos, who battled pancreatic cancer.
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
Jamee Leon says "And five minutes later they just disappear, they magically disappear."
A vanishing act that no one wants to experience. They looked like a perfect family married for almost 20 years with two children, Carlos and Jamee were looking forward to growing old together, but then there was that phone call last September.
Jamee Leon says "When my husband called me from work that he had a stomach ache."
Jamee says she didn't think anything of it. Carlos was a healthy 39 year old man who had never been sick or had any surgery."
But a few days later that pain was still there.
Jamee Leon says "He goes Jamee I'm pretty sure I'm dying I said I'm pretty sure you're not."
Unfortunately, Carlos was right, and what Jamee thought would be a routine trip to the doctor turned her world upside down.. and started one of the most painful journeys of her of life.
After a series of tests, Jamee tells us They came back and said you have pancreatic cancer. It's very aggressive, it's already spread to the liver and it is picking up speed quickly."
From there the clock was ticking, doctors gave Carlos less than a year to live.
Jamee Leon says "They're here today and tomorrow they are gone and then you are left to figure out how to get through every single day without the person you just spent the last 19 years of your life with."
Pancreatic cancer is one of the nation's deadliest cancers with a five-year survival rate of just 6 percent. Sadly, an estimated 73 percent of patients, like Carlos, will die within the first year of diagnosis, unless it's caught early, which is extremely rare.
Jamee Leon says "How do you have hope with a disease there is virtually no awareness and there are no signs or symptoms."
Jamee says she is still fighting everyday to have hope that there will be a cure. That's why she continues to share her family's painful story.
Jamee Leon says "Now the kids and I are at one day by day, we just take it day by day."
That's all she can do, as she works to raise awareness and remembers 19 very special years of her life.