Life in Stage 4: Terminal Pancreatic Cancer

Gretchen Hunsberger was first diagnosed with stage 2 pancreatic cancer in 2013, which she successfully treated with radiation and chemotherapy. But fourteen months later in spring 2015, her remission ended when the cancer returned, this time at stage 4.

In June 2015, Gretchen shared her courageous story about deciding to forgo medical treatment and embrace her impending death. Gretchen realized the unparalleled value of community, and how much can be learned from individuals living in Stage 4. She mourned the loss of her vitality, but through mindfulness and meditation practices, experienced joy in the wonders of this world.

Gretchen passed away on August 31, 2015.


To learn more about pancreatic cancer, ways to get involved, and sources of support, visit Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

For inspiration on navigating cancer, explore Bernie Siegel and Mark Nepo's writing.