Douglasville resident Eric Janeau had been feeling pain and discomfort in his midsection for quite some time and felt it was time to see his doctor.
However, not only was the then 47-year-old not ready for the diagnosis, but the prognosis was even worse.
“I was diagnosed as having stage four cholangiocarcinoma as I had a large mass on my liver and also had two other tumors in my body as well as having bile duct cancer,” he said.
What was even more frightening: Janeau was told this was a condition that usually affected older people and those affected had only a one percent cure rate.
He said chemo treatments were very painful “but I was not going to give up.”
“This entire experience has dramatically changed me for the better because I survived and am able to talk about it and help those who may be facing similar health challenges,” Janeau said.
“I have been able to achieve many things, as I was an All-American in football as an offensive lineman and was able to play at the highest level in a professional training camp,” he continued.
“But surviving a medical condition that has such a high death rate is far better than that and I hope to inspire people in a much more positive way.”
Janeau also said he wants to help people who are going through any type of serious medical condition: to emphasize to those people to keep fighting and never give up.
“I want those people to have a positive attitude that they will get through whatever challenge, medical or otherwise, they may be enduring and that faith can overcome anything,” he said.
Janeau enjoys addressing groups about his condition and how he, with the help of his surgeons, doctors, medical staff—and God—was able to survive his medical condition.
“What a person is going through may look like the hardest thing he has ever done,” he said, “but it will get better if one keeps a positive mental attitude.”
Asked about his most difficult times when his faith helped him through, Janeau said that during one of his chemo treatments for his stage four cancer, he asked the nurse what was next as far as further chemo treatment sessions.
“I remember she looked up at the ceiling and said stage four was the final stage in the treatment and there were no more stages; that was the final chemo treatment and that was it.”
“I wasn’t about to give up, as I told the nurse it was fight time because I was not giving up.”
“Despite the chemo treatments tearing me up inside as I lost weight, lost my appetite and lost my hair, God blessed me with the resilience, stamina and determination to keep fighting,” he said.
“I had a one percent survival rate; on top of that I had stage 3 renal kidney failure and on top of that I had a heart condition,” he said. “God is the greatest,” he added.
“I was 6-3 and 350 pounds at the time and I was told that my weight actually helped my recovery and survival.”
Janeau’s friend and psychotherapist Dr. Tara Miller, who has known him for five years, described him as a person with grit and determination.
“Seeing him go through this which, with his other health problems like congestive heart failure and high blood pressure, actually gave him a chance of recovery of minus 4 percent, showed his high level of determination and will to survive,” said Miller.
Janeau enjoys speaking to groups about his health issues, and his determination and will to survive, in hopes of instilling that same “never quit” mindset and faith in God.
He can be reached at any of these numbers: 678-815-3443, 404-455-0429 or 678-898-4941.
By Bill Baldowski