My mom, my best friend. She's only 53.

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My mom, my best friend. She's only 53.

by alwayshavehope on Tue May 20, 2014 01:19 PM

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Hello all!! I've been reading these forums for the past couple weeks when my family wasn't 100% sure that my mom had pancreatic cancer. Two weeks ago it was confirmed. We did receive a little good news that it has not spread anywhere else and that the cancer is just in the pancreas. She had an appointment yesterday with the surgeon and they told her the cancer was too big for surgery right now and that she will start chemo for several months to shrink it and hopefully then she can have the surgery.

I'm just wondering what to expect while she goes through chemo...what things will be like...how will my mom feel. Mom is only 53... she doesn't drink, smoke, & she's a very active golfer. This doesn't seem real. I'm staying strong but it is hard because I'm only 24 and never thought something like this could happen to my mom. But it is and I will be strong for her!!! I'm just looking to hear what the journey ahead of us will be like...what chemo will be like.

Thank you for taking the time to read and God bless you all!!! :)

RE: My mom, my best friend. She's only 53.

by happy2balive on Tue May 20, 2014 03:42 PM

Quote | Reply

I am sorry that your family is effected by this disease. Reading this brings back memories of my situation. I was 50 years old like your mom and my daughter was your age. I was diagnosed 3 months before my daughter's wedding and this took us all by surprise. I had to write to you because if my daughter was writing this post she would be saying the same thing since her and I are so close.

Just had my 3 year celebration for being "cancer free" after whipple surgery and chemo afterwards. This will take a huge toll on your family but, alll i can tell you is to be there for her when she needs it and keep supporting her and telling her to take one day at a time. My family is my rock and without them I would not have been able to go through everything.

It took a while to calm down from all this but I see now how strong I am and I don't ask "why me" anymore.

There are some wonderful people on this site that are here for you and your mom. Just remember to have faith in God and make sure she is comfortable with her surgeon and team.

I know how lucky I am to be alive and will not ever forget to help others and to be here for them. I was able to see the birth of my first grandchild in December, a baby girl, who gives me so much hope and makes me want to be here to see her grow.

God Bless your mom and your family.

RE: My mom, my best friend. She's only 53.

by obewon43 on Tue May 20, 2014 04:24 PM

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Hello always

Your mom has a lot going for her, her age, no mets, and hope. I suggest Getting a second opinion from a major cancer ctr and surgeon.  This is a horrible time emotionally on both caregivers and patients. Listen to the docs, educate yourself and be your own advocate.  Be agressive with your questions as doctors generally do not  put forward info unless asked specific questions.  They never take away hope.  Build a team and listen to them.  Ask the tough questions.   Remember your mom is not a statistic and she doesnt have an expiration date.  Lean on members here as there are many informative and concerned members.  

Chemo side effects vary patient to patient and chemo type.  I had six months of Gemzar following a distal and had very few side effects. Fatigue, loss of appetite, chills.  I am now cancer free for now but who knows. I am only 1 year out after a 6 month prognosis if I did nothing. 

Have faith in your god and the docs.  Fight for the surgery before it has a chance to spread.

Our prayers go out to your mom and your family, there is hope!!!!    

RE: My mom, my best friend. She's only 53.

by alwayshavehope on Tue May 20, 2014 04:45 PM

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On May 20, 2014 3:42 PM happy2balive wrote:

I am sorry that your family is effected by this disease. Reading this brings back memories of my situation. I was 50 years old like your mom and my daughter was your age. I was diagnosed 3 months before my daughter's wedding and this took us all by surprise. I had to write to you because if my daughter was writing this post she would be saying the same thing since her and I are so close.

Just had my 3 year celebration for being "cancer free" after whipple surgery and chemo afterwards. This will take a huge toll on your family but, alll i can tell you is to be there for her when she needs it and keep supporting her and telling her to take one day at a time. My family is my rock and without them I would not have been able to go through everything.

It took a while to calm down from all this but I see now how strong I am and I don't ask "why me" anymore.

There are some wonderful people on this site that are here for you and your mom. Just remember to have faith in God and make sure she is comfortable with her surgeon and team.

I know how lucky I am to be alive and will not ever forget to help others and to be here for them. I was able to see the birth of my first grandchild in December, a baby girl, who gives me so much hope and makes me want to be here to see her grow.

God Bless your mom and your family.

Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to respond back to my message. Your story gives me such great hope & I'm SO happy to hear that you just had your 3 years of being cancer free. That is AWESOME!!! & congrats on your first grandchild!

RE: My mom, my best friend. She's only 53.

by alwayshavehope on Tue May 20, 2014 04:52 PM

Quote | Reply

On May 20, 2014 4:24 PM obewon43 wrote:

Hello always

Your mom has a lot going for her, her age, no mets, and hope. I suggest Getting a second opinion from a major cancer ctr and surgeon.  This is a horrible time emotionally on both caregivers and patients. Listen to the docs, educate yourself and be your own advocate.  Be agressive with your questions as doctors generally do not  put forward info unless asked specific questions.  They never take away hope.  Build a team and listen to them.  Ask the tough questions.   Remember your mom is not a statistic and she doesnt have an expiration date.  Lean on members here as there are many informative and concerned members.  

Chemo side effects vary patient to patient and chemo type.  I had six months of Gemzar following a distal and had very few side effects. Fatigue, loss of appetite, chills.  I am now cancer free for now but who knows. I am only 1 year out after a 6 month prognosis if I did nothing. 

Have faith in your god and the docs.  Fight for the surgery before it has a chance to spread.

Our prayers go out to your mom and your family, there is hope!!!!    

Thank you so much for responding. I'm glad to hear that you're cancer free & I will keep you in my prayers that it stays that way! I really appreciate what you said- "Remember your mom is not a statistic and she doesnt have an expiration date." --I will remind myself this every single day because it is very true.

I will definitely hold on to my faith & be there for her every step of the way. I'll never lose hope.

RE: My mom, my best friend. She's only 53.

by bambi99d on Tue May 20, 2014 06:12 PM

Quote | Reply

My mother was 55 when she was diagnosed with Stage III PC in November 2010 and my sister and I were in our 20’s at the time too. I know how difficult it is to deal with being so young yourself. The chemo affects everyone differently. Since your Mom is younger and doesn’t have pre-existing health problems they will probably treat her aggressively. My Mom was on a few different chemos and tolerated them fairly well (Gemzar + Zeloda plus radiation, Folforinox).

The doctor and nurses will give you a list of side effects to expect but my Mom had the most issues with abdominal cramping, cold sensitive, neropathy, nausea and lack of appetite. The best advice I can give you is to ask the doctor and nurses a lot of questions – there aren’t any dumb questions. I must have asked a million questions! Try to stay organized and keep copies of all her scans, blood work, notes from the doctor’s appointments etc.

 I’m not sure where you’re located but I would highly suggest scheduling an appointment a cancer center that specializes in PC (especially for another surgical opinion). We went to Johns Hopkins. They are usually willing to work with your local oncologist so your Mom can stay close to home for treatments.

Do you research when you find out what drugs she’ll be on. Try to have another family member or friend help out. The emotional and physical responsibility is taxing. My Mom’s chemo treatments were long 8 hours usually. I stayed with her the whole time so your ipad will be your best friendJMy sister and I did everything for my Mom and it was the most exhausting but rewarding thing we had ever done.

Someone told me when I started this journey to take one day at a time….the highs will be high and the low will be low…to this day that’s the best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten.

The most important thing is not to give up hope! I’ve been on this board and the Hopkins board since late 2010 and have seen so many people beat the odds!

Let me know if you have questions once she gets started.

Prayers to your family

RE: My mom, my best friend. She's only 53.

by alwayshavehope on Tue May 20, 2014 06:48 PM

Quote | Reply

On May 20, 2014 6:12 PM bambi99d wrote:

My mother was 55 when she was diagnosed with Stage III PC in November 2010 and my sister and I were in our 20’s at the time too. I know how difficult it is to deal with being so young yourself. The chemo affects everyone differently. Since your Mom is younger and doesn’t have pre-existing health problems they will probably treat her aggressively. My Mom was on a few different chemos and tolerated them fairly well (Gemzar + Zeloda plus radiation, Folforinox).

The doctor and nurses will give you a list of side effects to expect but my Mom had the most issues with abdominal cramping, cold sensitive, neropathy, nausea and lack of appetite. The best advice I can give you is to ask the doctor and nurses a lot of questions – there aren’t any dumb questions. I must have asked a million questions! Try to stay organized and keep copies of all her scans, blood work, notes from the doctor’s appointments etc.

 I’m not sure where you’re located but I would highly suggest scheduling an appointment a cancer center that specializes in PC (especially for another surgical opinion). We went to Johns Hopkins. They are usually willing to work with your local oncologist so your Mom can stay close to home for treatments.

Do you research when you find out what drugs she’ll be on. Try to have another family member or friend help out. The emotional and physical responsibility is taxing. My Mom’s chemo treatments were long 8 hours usually. I stayed with her the whole time so your ipad will be your best friendJMy sister and I did everything for my Mom and it was the most exhausting but rewarding thing we had ever done.

Someone told me when I started this journey to take one day at a time….the highs will be high and the low will be low…to this day that’s the best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten.

The most important thing is not to give up hope! I’ve been on this board and the Hopkins board since late 2010 and have seen so many people beat the odds!

Let me know if you have questions once she gets started.

Prayers to your family

Thank you so much for responding. I'm so glad I reached out to this site. Mom is at Moffitt Cancer Center in Florida. Luckily I live 10 minutes down the street from her, so like you & your sister, I will be there for my mom every step of the way. I will take the advice you gave me & remember to take it one day at a time. Right now we are all still in a state of shock...it's hard to believe she has cancer when she looks perfectly fine. The crazy thing is her doctor told her it has probably been there for about 10 years!! & thank goodness it hasn't spread anywhere else. A couple weeks ago she was having horrible stomach pains and my dad took her to the ER & that's when they discovered the mass on her pancreas.

Thank you so much for all your kind words & I would like to keep in touch once I know more! 

RE: My mom, my best friend. She's only 53.

by obewon43 on Tue May 20, 2014 08:03 PM

Quote | Reply

Hello always

Your mom has a lot going for her, her age, no mets, and hope. I suggest Getting a second opinion from a major cancer ctr and surgeon.  This is a horrible time emotionally on both caregivers and patients. Listen to the docs, educate yourself and be your own advocate.  Be agressive with your questions as doctors generally do not  put forward info unless asked specific questions.  They never take away hope.  Build a team and listen to them.  Ask the tough questions.   Remember your mom is not a statistic and she doesnt have an expiration date.  Lean on members here as there are many informative and concerned members.  

Chemo side effects vary patient to patient and chemo type.  I had six months of Gemzar following a distal and had very few side effects. Fatigue, loss of appetite, chills.  I am now cancer free for now but who knows. I am only 1 year out after a 6 month prognosis if I did nothing. 

Have faith in your god and the docs.  Fight for the surgery before it has a chance to spread.

Our prayers go out to your mom and your family, there is hope!!!!    

RE: My mom, my best friend. She's only 53.

by alwayshavehope on Mon Jun 02, 2014 02:43 PM

Quote | Reply

On May 20, 2014 1:19 PM alwayshavehope wrote:

Hello all!! I've been reading these forums for the past couple weeks when my family wasn't 100% sure that my mom had pancreatic cancer. Two weeks ago it was confirmed. We did receive a little good news that it has not spread anywhere else and that the cancer is just in the pancreas. She had an appointment yesterday with the surgeon and they told her the cancer was too big for surgery right now and that she will start chemo for several months to shrink it and hopefully then she can have the surgery.

I'm just wondering what to expect while she goes through chemo...what things will be like...how will my mom feel. Mom is only 53... she doesn't drink, smoke, & she's a very active golfer. This doesn't seem real. I'm staying strong but it is hard because I'm only 24 and never thought something like this could happen to my mom. But it is and I will be strong for her!!! I'm just looking to hear what the journey ahead of us will be like...what chemo will be like.

Thank you for taking the time to read and God bless you all!!! :)

Mom just started her first round of chemo today & she's got her boxing gloves on, WE ARE READY TO FIGHT!!! She's doing great so far, I hope she stays this positive & strong!!! She's on Gemzar and will be going every Monday for the next 6 months. Doctors are hoping by December that the cancer will shrink and that they will be able to operate to remove the cancer!!!!

I really feel it in my heart that she is going to beat this #%$& thing!!!!! I really appreciate everyones kind words & advice that I have been receiving on this site. It really helps to be connected to others that are going through the same thing.

Please keep my mom in your prayers as all of you are in mine. Bless you ALL! :)

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