Pancreas Cancer/ From Diagnosis to Death

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Pancreas Cancer/ From Diagnosis to Death

by Eggroll on Tue May 03, 2005 12:00 AM

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The medical profession is sorely behind in recognizing the possibility of pancreas cancer. Although it can be mistaken for other conditions, it is so seldom even discussed until everything else is ruled out! By then, it is too late. My husband was 51 years old. He had a bad case of indigestion that moved into stomach pain and a distended stomach. The doctors treated him with citracel for constipation and then later, narcotics for back pain. I had to insist LOUDLY that he be given a colonoscopy (he had one the previous year) and an upper GI. I was sure he had fluid in his abdomen because I could hear it and his doctor pooh poohed my suggestion! When we were finally referred to a gastro guy he withdrew 2 quarts of fluid. Because the biopsy was benign, they stopped looking for a cause. When he began vomiting non-stop, I took him to another city and admitted him through ER. A surgeon did exploratory on Friday, found extensive tumors througout his abdomen, closed him after inserting a stomach tube, and sent a biopsy away to determine a course of treatment. The pain was unbearable for him, but he tried very hard to keep his sense of humor. Unbelievably, he started acting "silly" just 24 hours after surgery. Soon thereafter, he told me he was dying and that he loved me. He died. Just like that. I am still in shock. I am still so angry at the medical profession. Even if there was no cure, we could have prepared emotionally for the end. I am not sure I will ever really recover. I was hoping that this forum would help me to heal, especially if I can help others whose loved ones have not yet passed away. David showed every symptom of this horrible disease.....if only we had known. Grieving Since Easter.....

so Sorry to Hear About Your Husband.....

by Paulamc52 on Tue May 03, 2005 12:00 AM

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Dear Eggroll, I am a nurse, no longer working and 52 yrs old. I know what you mean about the medical profession sometimes... I am newly married for the 3rd time. Married in 8/2001, then 9/11 happened... We have been going through things with my husband's Drs about the after effects of him being there. He was in the Air Guard Reserve from NY. Developed pnuemonia 2x in less than 6 mons... I don't want go into all this right now...He had a work injury 2003, it took 2 yrs searching for a doctor and many tests and a biopsy to prove he has permament damage in his leg.... In the nearly 5 yrs of being together, there are far and few many doctors I trust!!! (Right now,I have a mom 84 with Lung cancer in remission and a nephew 17 with synovial sarcoma....His lower leg was amputated two weeks ago...My family, my mother are on ISOTONIC SUPPLEMENTS.... I have been giving them to her since 2003....She is on IRESSA NOW, BUT THEY MAY TAKE IN OFF THE MARKET NEXT MONTH....So I guess what we've been doing works!!!!! Hope you contact me....thinking about you....God bless!!~~Paula Mc

From Diagnosis to Death

by Jodemus on Mon May 09, 2005 12:00 AM

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I am so sorry about your husband. My mother was diagnosed in 2002 with pancreatic cancer and she fought it with surgery, radiation and chemo for nearly 3 years. Most people don't make it past 5 years. I was in denial and I was convinced she was gonna beat it. She had no signs of the cancer after her surgery and then a year and a half later it was back. We found out in aug. of this year it was not responding to treatment and tried a harsher chemo and that nearly killed her and she went on hospice 11-13-04 and died 12-09-04. You said that it would've been nice to prepare emotionally for the end when in reality that would've never happened. We knew she was dying and I watched her starve and dehydrate to death because all of her organs were shutting down and her stomach was the first. She looked like a skeleton and the last two days she was unresponsive and gasped for every breath. I can still hear that and see her in my visions. It was a horrible thing to watch and I got so mad at god because he was taking too long to take her. I loved her more than life itself and I would've never wished she had to die but when yoou see your loved one slowly dying it is the hardest thing to witness. She wanted to go so badly too because she knew she was deteriorating. I am an only child and my mother and I were so close because it was me and her only. She was 57 when she died and she was so strong and independant while alive. It was so horrible to watch her become so dependant. I t hurts to loose someone and that pain is so deep that it is hard to describe unless you have been through it. You are in a better place not to have to have witnessed such a slow death. I know it is a shock but even going through all I did and us talking about it it still didn't seem like we got to say enough to each other. Also when they are dying, they do not act like themselves anymore. They become very childlike and they are in 2 worlds. Our world and the other world. My mom kept asking me whoo all these people were around her and I could not see anyone. They were always there because she would describe them to me and everyday they were the same people and they were just there waiting to take her. My mother never would have talked like that. She was very logical and fact driven. She would talk to them and her vocabulary changed. She would say she needed hydration instead of water. She would ask what was on the other side of her wall. She couldn't comrehend what was around her other than what was in her room. The closer she was to death the more inward everything became with her. I told her it was time for her to go the day that she died and I cried in her lap and told her it was too hard on her and on me to go on anymore. She died that evening. I was so relieved for her and I packed up her apartment after putting together her funeral and then doing Christmas for my kids and going right back to work. I seem to have been handeling things so amazingly weel and now I cry everyday almost and with mother's day yeasterday, it almost did me in. You cannot prepare. Don't ever think you could have done anything to prepare if you had more time. The only thing more time would've brought was more pain and suffering for the both of you. Pancreatic cancer is so bad and there are so few who come through with a clean bill of health. They thought my mom was gonna beast it because of how well she did. She had the best surgeon in this field and was under the care of the best. My uncle is a doctor in Los Angeles and he has great connections and she was treated at UCLA and this surgeon is all over the internet as the best, but when it is all said and done she isn't here. I know you are angry but honestly until they do more research on this cancer and more attention is called to it then even the best can't save you. Yes, it gave us more time but it still sucks in the end and I still have a hole in my life and a desperate pain that doesn't seem to get better. I feel your pain and desperation. I know you felt helpless but only god has control over us in the end. I am not a religious person but after all this I definatly believe there is something else out there that is more powerful and our destiny is what it is.

Pancreatic Cancer in Mom

by Susiemissmom on Wed May 11, 2005 12:00 AM

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My sincerest condolences. My sweet wonderful loving mother just died 2 days ago (May9th at 1:40 am) of pancreatic cancer that spread into the liver and apparently many other places. We had 2 1/2 weeks from diagnosis to death. My only consolation is that she is with our Lord and Savior and does not have to suffer physically or mentally any more. We were extremely close, so it is really hard to take. My prayers are with all who have to deal with this terribble disease.God bless you.

The Truth is Painful

by Shelldrifter on Fri May 20, 2005 12:00 AM

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I want to say I am sorry for the loss of your mother and find myself wondering what her name was. I don't know why but it feels important to me right now. I lost my father not to a cancer or they didn't call it that but I watched him die over a period of 6 months and I really believed he was going to show everyone just how stong he was and get well. He gave a really good fight but there were alot of complications.I don't want to go into alot of detail now. However your description of not being themselves and living in two worlds as well as seeing them become so dependant becoming like children who need your help is so true. And strangly we all try our best to adjust to it so we can help them and make it our selves. I watched my father die and his body couldn't get any nutrition from even Iv feedings anymore so he starved per say, and he also talked about other people around him. He was a truely wonderful man and I miss him so much every day that I hurt inside because I didn't take time with him as much as I now see i should have, if not for him for me. There is no time to prepare for death infact I know have a better understanding of the saying "It was a blessing" and one more thing about the gasping or the so called "gurgle of death" the last day or two, they are not there in there bodies at that point I believe at least I couldn't find a trace of what once had been my father. Thank you for listening. God bless you all and my you all live long and happy. Shelly

Pancreatic Cancer in Mom

by Susiemissmom on Fri Jun 03, 2005 12:00 AM

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Dear Shelly, sorry it took so long to reply. I went away for a little while, as it was so painful to be here. My mothers name was Phyllis, and all who knew her loved her-including our hospice nurses. She never drank or smoked or did anything unhealthy. You are so right about how hard it is to watch your most loved one die-especially that way. We didn't have I-V's, she just couldn't eat or keep anything down. Mom was in and out, but aware up to the last day. She wanted to go as she didn't want to feel bad anymore. I spent a lot of time with her before we knew she was sick. I thank GOD everyday for that relationship and for that time. I held her hand and was with her 24/7 from the diagnosis to her passing. Mom and I both treasured that time. Please find the peace that GOD will give you in your heart for time spent with your loved one. We cannot change the past, but find solice in the love you had for each other. The times you had were precious-believe in those times and you will heal. GOD Bless all of us. Susie

Cancer of The Pancreatic

by Whatiscancer on Tue Jul 12, 2005 12:00 AM

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Hi, Just last Friday my Mom was diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas. We are all still in shock. She was very healthy...suddently, her skin turned yellow, her urine turned darker, and as for now stage her eyes colors turn yellowish. Dr. put a stent in her on Friday to help with release the fluid in her stomach. I am in shock...and need any advise how to deal with this deadly disease, and if anyone out there would know of their love ones going thru this and passing away, how much time do they have to live? I really want to know, I want to prepare myself...thanks.

Pancreatic and Liver Cancer

by Prayingforamiracle on Fri Jul 29, 2005 12:00 AM

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Dear Hope, My husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer that has spread to the liver on July 3 of this year. I made him go the doctor when he started having pain in the upper abdomen with nausea. I thought it was another ulcer since he has had problems with that in the past or even gallbladder trouble. We never dreamed the diagnoses would be cancer. Such a dirty, ugly word! When the ultrasound and Upper GI came back negative, the doctor continued with more tests. The CT Scan of the abdomen showed some abnormalities, they continued with a liver biopsy and found over 20 tumors. It was concluded that this was not the primary source, so more tests were done to find where it spread from and it was discovered it came from the pancreas. His grandfather died from pancreatic cancer, so that makes him 3 times more at risk for this cancer. The doctors knew from his medical history about his grandfather, so I don't know why they did not test for that first. He has probably had the pancreas cancer for about a year, but was not detected until it spread to the liver. He is in a lot of pain, but the pain medication controls that. His urine is very dark and his abdomen is distended. He has had two sessions of chemo (gemzar) and had to cancel this week because his platelet count was down. He could have 1 to 2 years of just months depending on the chemo. Our faith in God keeps us going. I don't know what to look for when his liver and pancreas fails. I was hoping I could find someone who was going through this to help me. I am looking forward to hearing from you.

How Can These Doctors Find Out Sooner

by Whatiscancer on Sat Aug 06, 2005 12:00 AM

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Dear Madame, Thank you so much for your email. I hope you are doing well and holding on strong and believe that somehow these doctors will find a way to save your husband. As for me, my Mom has been to a few doctors appointment, majority of them still can't find what is wrong with her. The symptoms are like what you had described above emailed. So far, they have been doing the testing in the pancreas, these tests come back negative, and so these doctors still not sure what it's happening to her. Last Friday, they referred her to MD Anderson for cancer treatment. Mom is a bit stubborn refuses to goes there, she think that is a dead place, however we will push her to go there to see more doctors. This time, they want to do a testing of I think this is how you would spelled it (coloscopy)...it goes into her butt whole and then upper intestine to the liver.... something like that... we are holding and hoping that it would not be cancer, but I won't be surprise it turn out to be cancer. You see, my Mom's Mom died of cancer, but it was too late for these doctors to find out where it came from, and she died of lung cancer, but the truth is the cancer had spread all over her stomach, since she was 83, the only thing they did and the family agreed is to let her die naturally...no treatment will be needed... Please keep in touch with me of yours husband finding. Please be strong, and I will do the same... God will, but we want to know if the medical group really know what they are doing? You would think that such diagnosis could be sooner and not taking their time, since this sort of thing is like a time bomb... Take care..

Thinking of You and Your Mom

by Prayingforamiracle on Mon Aug 08, 2005 12:00 AM

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Hi, I really hope the doctors find out what is wrong with your Mom. The tests aren't as bad as the waiting for the results. Today my husband had chemo, his 4th treatment. He gets a break next week while we wait for blood tests to come back. These tests will determine if the four treatments are working. He actually gained weight this week instead of losing. His hair is now starting to come out and he hates that. But, it's just hair and it doesn't bother me. I just want him to get better. It is really hard watching someone you love go downhill. I feel really helpless. There's not much to do, but give emotional support and to love them. He says he feels like he is on death row. He knows he is going to die; he just doesn't know when. Just try to focus on positive things and put everything in God's hands. Live one day at a time and live it to the fullest. Little things matter now that we never used to think about. I'll always treasure just lying in bed listening to the rain. Giving a back rub; fixing his favorite meal. Letting him watch golf or discovery channel or CNN or ESPN or whatever while I just sit with him and read a book. Just being together is so important right now. His quality of life takes priority. I'll be praying for you and hope to hear from you soon.
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