by AAlonzo on Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:48 PM
Just though I should share my moms experience to help others. It started this past Nov 2012 as what she beleived was a stomach bug of some sort. Wasn't too alarmed at first. Stomach ache where the pain was somewhat tolerable. After a week and some over the counter meds (pepto, tums, etc.) she decided to go to her Dr. Her Dr. said it was a stomach bacteria, so prescribed her anti-biotics. She was on them for a week, showing no relief, it felt as if they were doing any good at all. This past Thanksgiving week when she was just about done (with the anti-biotics), with no real sign of relief she decided to enjoy her turkey and an ice cold Corona (now my mom wasn't an alcholic, didn't smoke, nor ever do any drugs). However the pain continued, and then a couple of days after followed the constipation. She would express the feeling in her stomach area as if her guts had no food, and were growling just the same, accompanied with some pain. Visiting the Dr. again, she was prescribed, stool softener. No luck, still constipated. This went on for a couple of weeks. Visits to the Dr. prescribed liquids, pills, etc. all addressing a stomach/bowel problem. This led to my mom no longer wanting to eat, scared, and not having an appetite. After finally getting an MRI she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It had spread to the liver and kidneys. She was given 6-12mnths to live. Her Dr. at the time wanted to rush her on chemo (this Dr was rude, and not at all sympathetic towards her or our family), so we asked for another Dr. and a 2nd opinion (my cousin was the one that demanded this after her finding of this Dr's rudeness). This rude Dr. was the one that has kept on ignoring her constipation, and still had not addressed it even after finding the cancer. There was 2 issues involved the cancer and the constipation (there is alot more to this part with her old Dr.) Her new Dr. was the one that discovered the reason to her constipation, which was actually blockage from scar tissue in her intestine. 3-4yrs back, my mom had a cancerous uterus removed. Thus where the scar tissue then developed. She would always go to her yearly check ups. Her only option at this point to relieve the blockage was to have a very complex and risky operation to to cut out the blocked area, and then re-attach the intestine. With the advanced cancer that was now in play, this made it a 50/50 risk. Needless to say my mom didn't make it She managed to make it out of the OR, and then lasted only till the next night. There is alot more to this story, however I've tried to summarize as short as possible. The undiagnosed blockage made her last days miserable. She would be up all day and night, unable to find that comfort zone. Standing, sitting, walking, laying down, and just un-rest. My dad was also unable to sleep, just asking how he could help. It was pretty bad. This all started as I said early Nov 2012, and she passed away the next day after surgery Jan 10, 2013. This whole time was just a blurr. My birthday was on Jan 12, and my day was spent visiting cemetaries, mortuarys, and flower shops.
To those going thru any form of cancer, I strongly recommend you get 2nd opinion. Inquire as much as you can before going thru any kind of radiation/chemo. Also if you do not like the Dr. you are seeing demand to see another. There is no reason why you should not feel comfortable with the person you are dealing with. This is a real sensitive matter, and those that you come in contact with should show some form of sympathy. My mom didn't speak English very well, and I belieive this may have been different if she was able to speak up for herself. As most people that don't speak the language, often feel.
Be persistent, and demand tests and options. Don't settle for the 1st option without asking questions and other possibilities.
My prayers go out to those in our situation.
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Did you or your loved one seek a second opinion before starting cancer treatment?
No, but we got a second opinion after we started treatment
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