End Stage Pancreatic Cancer

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End Stage Pancreatic Cancer

by Sadncypress on Wed Sep 28, 2005 12:00 AM

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I would like to be prepared for what we may experience as my mother goes through the end stages of Pacreatic Cancer. My story is somewhat lengthy but if anyone has time to read this and give me some information in order to prepare myself and my family, I would really appreciate it. Here we go: My mom is 57 years old and was diagnosed in July 2005 with Stage 3/4 pancreatic cancer. In January of this year, she had started complaining of pain in her stomach and was incorrectly treated for ulcers and other gastro-type illnesses. Finally in June, the pain was unbearable. She went to the ER where a cat scan was performed and a tumor was found on her pancreas. Cancer was confirmed in late July. The doctors did not give her much hope. They said the cancer is terminal/inoperable and that chemo might help with the symptoms but would not "heal" her. We were prepared to start chemo the following week. A few days before chemo, my mom visited an Alternative Health Specialist who really seemed to think she could help my mom. She gave her hope. We decided to not do the chemo and pursue the alternative treatment. The way I looked at it was the "medical" route was "hopeless" and the "alternative" route was "hopeful". If indeed she only had months to live, I would prefer she lived with some hope. She immediately started vitamins/supplements and a 3x a week procedure known as Colonics Hydrotherapy. It has been approx 2 months and I hate to say it, but she has lost more weight and the "fluid in her stomach" has not gone down. She literally looks like a pregnant anorexic woman. I want to remain hopeful, however, I consider myself a realist and would prefer to be prepared for what may come. She is on 120mg of morphine every day plus vicadin as needed. She hardly eats and has been vomiting more often. She has not given up and believes she will get better. I am just really confused. I am a 36 year old mother of three young kids (9,7 and 3). My mother lives almost an hour away so I don't get to see her that often. This is just really difficult for me to deal with. I know this is long but would welcome any encouragement, insight or advice. Thank you for your time and concern.

Chemo

by Carly on Thu Sep 29, 2005 12:00 AM

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I am so sorry for what you are going through with your mother. My husband just passed away 3 weeks ago from esophageal cancer. He had 4 rounds of chemo and was sick as a dog the entire time. In retrospect, I wish he had not taken the chemo. He too was told it was not curable, but treatable. Perhaps if he had not taken the chemo he would not have been so sick. It certainly wouldn't have changed the outcome.Good luck.

Chemo/end Stage Pancreatic Cancer

by Sadncypress on Thu Sep 29, 2005 12:00 AM

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Carol, I am sorry to hear about your husband. You know the irony is that I keep thinking "what if we should have done chemo? Would it have possibly helped her, or possibly help shrink the tumor?" All I know is that it is hard watching her waste away. She is so thin and weak. Yet she continues to believe she is going to get better. Which I am glad for that, however, I just don't see how she will get better. I want her to see my brother who lives in Florida. I think it is urgent and she just can't seem to call him. I want to take her back to see her family in Louisiana as well, however, I think she will fight me on that one too. Part of me just wants it all to end. I dread each day wondering if today will be her last. And the hard part is that I can't see her every day. Thank you for listening. I appreciate it.

Stage 3/4

by Oncrx on Fri Sep 30, 2005 12:00 AM

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Cynthia, Pancreatic cancer is not a cureable disease. Stage 3/4 is even less cureable. Since surgery is not possible, chemo would only buy some time and the alternative health option probably wont even do that. We are all going to die, your mother knows how and pretty close to when. Most of us do not know that. Be there for her and comfort her in the time she has left. Perhaps you could move closer if driving back and forth is problematic. Most likely she only has a few months. God bless.

End Stage Pancreatic Cancer

by Ralfee on Tue Oct 04, 2005 12:00 AM

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My mother was diagnosed in July 2005 but had had tests done in April and was sent to Minneapolis. She had fluid in her and blew up like a ballon - they gave her diuretic and it went away and she is more comfortable. Also was already diabetic and of course with pancreas not working now on insulin. We still can't get her sugar level down to what it should be but it is manageable. So far she complains of stomach and back pain but not bad since the doctors treated the fluid and sugar thing. She is dizzy and tired alot. I never know if she is in pain and won't tell me though. She does not like to tell dr everything. I have come up from Arkansas to take care of her and am now facing what to do not to use my fmla up. Do not know how long or what to look for. I do know that the drs are doing what they can. I just don't know what the time frame is for this and what to expect. I would think that the drs would give your mother something for the fluid like they did for mine. It did wonders. Also she was losing weight at a rate of five lbs a week until they put her on insulin. That and a steady diet has helped. She has to take pills with each meal since pancreas not working but she keeps it down - eats small amounts at a time but well balanced especially with fruits and vegetables. She does not have appetite alot but does eat. I understand how you feel and have been going crazy since i am not from this area and we had hoped to move her to my home so my kids could help with her care. waiting for house to sell first. I don't want to force her to leave before she is ready to. Depression for her and me seem to be the worst thing.

i Could Have Writting The First Part of Your Message

by Annbob0822 on Thu Oct 13, 2005 12:00 AM

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My Mum was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in August after about 6 months of experiencing a bunch of different symptoms including severe vomiting that was initially attributed to other illnesses... her diagnosis really came about through a process of elimination. In August she had her gall bladder removed and they did a number of by passes to get around the tumour. The cancer has spread to her lymph nodes and is inoperable. Mum is still recovering from the surgery so won't be able to move to next steps until she is fully recovered but she is essentially facing three choices 1. pain management as the cancer spreads 2. chemotherapy which may or may not work - they want to try gemcitabine 3. participate in a clinical trial I'm torn in terms of what I want for my mother. Part of me wants her to fight on the off chance that she's one of the lucky ones, able to enjoy a few extra years. Part of me wants this to move quickly so that she doesn't have to go through any prolonged suffering. I am not ready to let my Mum go... she's only 58...but at the same time the thought of her being ill (either from extended chemo or from the cancer) really upsets me. Right now she and my dad are looking at the options and will make a decision in the next couple of weeks. What makes this all so surreal is that she lives in Australia and I'm in Canada. I took my 6 year old to Australia in early September so that we could say goodbye. When we left on the 23rd I knew I was leaving her for the last time. I don't know how much longer she has. I share this only to let you know that you are not alone. My thoughts are with you and your mother. Ann

Update on my Mom

by Sadncypress on Thu Oct 13, 2005 12:00 AM

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Ann, Thank you for your reply. I am so sorry to hear about your "Mum". This has been a long, difficult journey. As I write you, I am at my mom's house. I have been here for just over a week now. We have been preparing for her imminent death. Last Thursday, we brought Hospice in and have been trying to get her as comfortable as possible since then. I hate to admit that she is still in more pain than I would like. She has stopped eating and drinking for over a week now. She is very weak. Last night was particularly difficult. She was up every hour moaning and tossing. I could not get her comfortable. Then this morning, she said that "she is ready to go". We have all given her our "permission" to go, yet four hours later she is still with us. I am in such agony to watch her suffer this way. I pray that God would have mercy on her and just let her pass so that she would not hurt any more. I will remember you and your family during this difficult time. I wish that I could tell you that everything will be alright. Pancreatic cancer is a horrible disease that rarely gives you a fighting chance. I do hope that your mum is one of the lucky ones that can buy some extra time to be with her loved ones. Please keep me updated and if you need to "talk", I am here. Cyndy

i am so Sorry

by Annbob0822 on Thu Oct 13, 2005 12:00 AM

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Cyndy... I can not even begin to grasp what you are going through right now. Thank you so much for taking the time to reach out to me even while you're dealing with such great sadness yourself. I hope your mom passes peacefully and quickly, and that the healing can begin for you. Take care Ann

Dad Had Pancreatic Cancer

by Goodolegagirl on Thu Nov 03, 2005 12:00 AM

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My dad had pancreatic cancer...im sorry for what yall are going through. My dad did have surgery. A few months later another small mass had appeared. My mom found something online called protocell. she gave to my dad every 4 hours however much he needed. A few months later and some results to new scans done. There was no mass. It was gone. Have heard great things about this stuff called Protocell...could be worth checking into. best wishes! manda

Mom is Gone

by Sadncypress on Thu Nov 03, 2005 12:00 AM

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For those of you who have read my entries, the last one dated 10-13-05, well, Mom passed at 6:15 pm that same day. After hours and hours of trying to get her comfortable, we finally succeeded around 4pm. She then simply laid there with labored breathing until finally taking her last breath at 6:15pm. Watching her slowly die was one of the most diffult things I have EVER had to do. I would never wish it on my worst enemy to have to watch someone you love die a long, slow death. I feel that we are more humane to our animals. I do believe that God is the giver and taker of life and it is not in our hands, I just wish that we could give our loved ones something so that they would "sleep" until their body is ready to die. Especially if the situation is definitely terminal and the loved one has voiced that they "are ready to go." I don't know...I just know that it was so hard to watch her knowing there was NOTHING I could do to help.
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