On the fifthanniversary of the day she entered remission, Mai Salem was told her pancreaticcancer had returned.At first,Mai was devastated. For five years, Mai had provided hope for other pancreaticcancer patients as a volunteer for the AndersonNetwork, a support group that pairs new patients with survivors who sharetheir same cancer diagnosis. But after her recurrence, she wasn't so sure shecould still be a voice of hope. Over time, though,Mai has come to realize that despite her pancreatic cancer recurrence, the wayshe continues to live her life remains an inspiration to her fellow patients. "I enjoylife to the maximum," she says. "That's what I do. I try to enjoy everything Ican, when I can." Mai's pancreatic cancer symptoms, diagnosisand treatment Mai had beenexperiencing stomach pain for several months, but her local doctor keptdismissing her complaints, telling her it was all the spicy Thai food she ate. Eventually,she sought a second opinion. Tests showed that Mai had pancreatic cancer --more specifically, a neuroendocrine tumor that metastasized to her liver. Mai and herhusband David began researching. They knew her type of tumor was rare, but theywere able to find information about it on MDAnderson's website. With a recommendation from her brother, they decided toseek pancreaticcancer treatment here. Mai'sdoctor, David Fogelman,M.D., assistant professor Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology, prescribed four roundsof chemotherapy and surgery. For days after each round ofchemotherapy, she lay in bed, unable to do anything. But after surgery, sheentered remission and, over time, began to feel better. A new approach to life after a pancreaticcancer recurrenceWhen her pancreaticcancer returned, she decided to approach it differently. Mai was determined tolive life as normally as possible, despite how difficult it could be at times.She made herself eat. She made herself exercise, even when she could onlymuster small amounts of energy. Each day, she went for a short walk andchallenged herself to walk a few feet further each time. "I'd tellmyself, 'You're going to do it, Mai,' and I made it. Even though I almostcried, I told myself, 'And tomorrow, you're going to do it better and longer',"she says. "My will to fight is larger than anything else." This new attitudeand determination has helped Mai remain strong throughout her treatment. How pancreatic cancer helped a couple growcloserPart of Mai'sstrength comes from her husband David, who is constantly encouraging his wifeto take one more bite or another step. And while she may resent his tough loveat times, the couple says her cancer has brought them closer together. "My fight isnot with her. It's with cancer," David says. "It transcends everything. Withouther, I don't function." Mai callsDavid as her rock. Along with their children, David gives her reason tocontinue to fight. He's been at her side through each of her 22 trips to MDAnderson, listening and giving her courage and strength. Lessons from pancreatic cancerLooking backover her two pancreatic cancer journeys, Mai can see she's changed - for thebetter. "I never thought I'd be the person I'm today," she says. "I'm so muchstronger." Not only hasshe become physically stronger, but she has become mentally stronger, as well. Shecontinues to fight for her family and her friends who have supported her everystep of her cancer journey. "Cancer hastaught me to take a breath and deal with what I've been given. It's taught methat faith and a positive attitude are huge, not only in getting though cancer,but also in life," she says. "Life is difficult. But life is worth everydifficulty."