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9.5.2013
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News Room: ENQUIRER: Edgewood man's pilgrimage battles cancer, celebrates life

To download a pdf of this article, please click here.

To view this story, with video, on the Enquirer's website, please click here.


Enquirer
By: Cindy Schroeder

How to help
To follow Eric Miller’s journey, or to donate to St. Elizabeth Healthcare Hospice through paypal, go to www.walkwithe.comYou can also donate by sending a check to Eric Miller, P.O. Box 18323, Erlanger, KY 41018 and writing the word Camino in the memo field.To volunteer at St. Elizabeth Healthcare Hospice, call 859-301-4622 or email debbie.holloran@stelizabeth.com.

EDGEWOOD — During the first week of July 2012, I was diagnosed with metastatic pancreatic cancer... Like most people in this situation, I believed that if I had all the facts, I could manipulate the truth to be what I wanted it to be.

My oncologist is an extremely intelligent and capable physician, and of course saw right through that. He got very still, looked at me for a couple of seconds, and said quietly, “Eric, metastatic is by definition, stage 4. Your cancer is inoperable and non-curable.”
     ~ Eric Miller’s blog

Fourteen months after being diagnosed, Eric Miller is embarking on the journey of a lifetime – a solitary, 150-mile trek on El Camino de Santiago in Spain. The 57-year-old father of three is raising money for St. Elizabeth Healthcare Hospice in his hometown of Edgewood and sees his two-week trip as a “celebration of life.”

“Nobody knows how much time they have. But when you get a diagnosis like mine, it just frees you in so many ways to live in the moment,” Miller said.

Focusing on the positive
Miller’s road to Spain began last summer.

“It felt like heart burn,” he recalled. “The ER doctor said, ‘Your gall bladder is spasming. You’ve got two gall stones that are going to have to come out. And I want you to see your primary physician today because you’ve got some spots on your liver that I do not like the look of.”

After specialists “scoped and poked and prodded,” they found masses in both spheres of Miller’s liver.

“So I went into this thing last summer knowing that all we were doing was buying time,” he said. “I had no idea what kind of quality time I was going to buy.”

For weeks after Miller’s diagnosis, he operated in a “mental fog.”

“When you are told by a doctor that you have a disease that is inoperable and non-curable, I know for myself the first thought that went through my mind would not be acceptable around small children,” Miller said. “But after that, you either let it beat you down and crush you, or you rise to the occasion and you determine that whatever you’re got left is going to be quality time.”


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