I had all the same symptoms as you had about 8 weeks ago, felt exactly as you described but, my amylase was 43 and my lipase was 5. I have had these stomach, left rib, chest, and mid. left back pains ever since. The severity comes and goes but is always there. Can you still have Panc. issues with below normal lipase?
I was diagnosed with a 1.2 cm pancreatic mass in 2008 when I went to my doctor for complaints of upper abdomen and back pain. My MD was sure it was my gall bladder because I'd just had a baby and thus sent me to ultrasound. The call I received to inform me I had to go back to get a CT scan due to this odd mass was simply terrifying. I was referred to a gastro who has assured me it is unlikely I have cancer, but he did not order an aspiration. Since 2008 I've had pain on and off and I've been monitored via CT scan & MRI every year. In 2010 I had no change in the size from 2008. Now, the pain that begins in my upper abdomen and extends to my back is back with a vengeance and is taking over my days. It's been constant for week. When I called my gastro, he ordered another MRI, which is scheduled on 1/5/2012. I am terrified I'm going to hear bad news. My little boy is only four, what if I have cancer now? I am also insecure about the way my gastro has handled my case. Should I have expected an aspiration? The shock of learning about this sort of froze my ability to advocate for myself and I never demanded an aspiration; I've just gone with the flow of what the doctors say I should do. I'm worried, please give me feedback. Wish me luck too! I am trying to enjoy my holidays.
I started having stomach discomfort in August 2010. I figured it was a bug I had caught while in Vegas for my brothers wedding. I completely lost my appetite, dizzy, fatigued, and was nausea constantly. I went to the doctor and they ran blood tests and said everything was normal. I changed my diet to less caffeine and barely any fast food. I've been on and off Omniprizole, Prilosec, etc and they have seemed to help somewhat but the second I get off the pain comes back. The pain and discomfort is always right on or just below my left rib. I have noticed my rib is very swollen on that side. I asked my dr about the gallbladder and he said the pain was on the wrong side, that it would be on the right side if that was the case. I rotate from having a raging appetite that can't be fulfilled to where I recently threw up after no appetite for a week. I have started having diarrhea off and on and nausea from time to time. I have constant gas everytime I eat with belching which is very embarrassing. I am also extremely fatigued lately. I also have blood with fatty stools which i believe is due to my hemmoroids. I had a H Pylori test done and updated bloodwork and everything was normal so I don't think it could be an ulcer. I am 27 so I don't think it would be cancer and plus wouldn't it have shown up in blood work if it was. Cancer does run in my family but mostly breast. What is going on?! I don't have much money to be exploring dead ends with this stomach stuff. Any help would be great!
My husband appeared very healthy, was water skiing in August and died in February from pancreatic cancer - 55 days of being ill.
His only symptom was a very painful blood clot in his leg, which caused him to have a stroke and, after the Dr. treated him with blood thinners and he had a second stroke, the Dr. did a cancer workup on him and found cancer up and down his spine and other places. Then, after searching for the origin of the cancer, they found it to be the pancreas.
One of the symptoms is a low back pain, which caused a friend to see a Dr. and found pancreatic cancer in 1st stage. Another symptom is jauntice (yellowing of the skin).
I am speaking as a daughter. My mum lost her battle to pancreatic cancer a year ago. At the beginning, her symptoms were very vague. To be honest we all thought it was stress, as my mum had a very hectic work schedule, and always on the go. She was never at a doctors for anything until then.
Anyway, after afew weeks of feeling run down, and a noticable weight loss over a month (approx) (my mum only weighed 7stone normally, so was very noticable). finally went to her doctor, who at first diagnosed acid reflux (due to a dull pain in centre chest) i cant tell you the medication but, after a week on these tablets it was clear that there was a tinge of yellowness to her skin, and blood tests were ordered to decide if gallstones were the culprit.
Afew days later with jaundice spreading fast, and eyes now yellow, the doctor phoned at work (we were a family business) to advise that my mum get to hospital ASAP. Never a good sign.....right!!!!
We were told that there was a blockage in the bile duct causing a build up of billburin(sp) and that it was still likely that a gallstone was blocking the duct. We were releived that a simple op would sort this problem, but unfortunately after scans, u/s, MRI, blood tests, etc,that a tumour had been found on the duct and was attached to the pancreas and liver. A stent was placed releiving the blocked duct, and the jaundice settled.
I must say at this stage we all felt so much better, as my mum didn't 'LOOK' ill. at this stage also we hadnt been told if the tumour was malignant or benign. It was after a weel in hospital, and after a liver biopsy, that my dad visited me at home to tell me it was cancer. To say i was crushed was an undersatement. My mum wasnt just my mum, but my best freind in the whole world. So the thought of loosing her wasnt an option.
This was just before Christmas 2010. After recovery from ops etc, mum came home on Christmas eve for two days, and then was re admitted for further testing. We had no idea that my mum had been given a prognosis of 2 weeks to live. She kept it to herself to avoid us any more upset, which i find totally unremarkable, but that was just my mum.
my mum did extremely well lasting to july 27th 2011. The weight loss was very rapid in the last two months, as was the eating deterioration. I was her full time carer in the last few months, as my family were not able to deal with the changes occuring. I found it heartbreaking, soul destroying, but I woouldnt have had it any other way. She was my rock, and i was determined id be hers too no matter how hard.
Sorry this has been such a long post, and maybe not the answer to the question, but i thank everyone who has read it to the end. And if i can help anyone going througha similar experience, id be only too happy to halp.
Thanks again, good luck to everyone going through the illness, supporting a loved one, or just looking for info.
The Following User Says Thank You to voyager80 For This Useful Post: Bercy (10-09-2012)
I first got into the Health Boards because I have pancreatic cancer that can't be removed by surgery, and I couldn't find any doctors or textbooks that were willing to say what I can expect to happen. Boards like yours are the only way to find even second-hand reports on what kinds of things people experience. I'll tell what has happened in my case so far---how it was discovered, what has been done, and the symptoms that have come up so far.
The first thing I noticed was pain in the middle of the back. A dull pain, maybe 2 on a scale of 10. For many months I thought it was just arthritis. But dull or not, any pain rises on the scale if it interferes with the quality of life, and this one made it hard for me to sit in chairs. That's what finally led me to see my primary care doc about the pain last August (2012). I knew there are many internal organs at that level in the body (stomach, lungs, kidneys, pancreas, intestines, spleen), and I wondered if one of them might be going bad. The doc poked and squeezed and listened with his stethoscope; he ordered tests of blood, feces, urine; and he found nothing to fasten on. So he told me to wait and watch. That I did, and by early November I couldn't find a position in bed that would let me sleep. So I talked to him again, and this time he ordered a CT scan. It showed a tumor 2 inches across in the head of the pancreas. And with that news all hell broke loose. A PET scan revealed that it's cancerous and had spread to nearby lymph nodes. My primary doc referred me to a nearby cancer research hospital with an international reputation. They did more tests and told me the tumor is too involved with major blood vessels to be removed without me bleeding to death. So I'm stuck with the tumor, and unless I get chemo or radiation therapy to slow and shrink the tumor, it will kill me in months. With chemo, I might have a year or more.
They also told me the liver normally dumps yellow bile into the small intestine by way of a bile duct system, and the bile helps to digest fats. In so doing, the bile turns the feces brown. But the tumor had blocked that off, so now the bile would make its way into the blood stream to the kidneys, to be released in urine. Along the way, the bile would turn my skin and eye-whites yellow (a condition called jaundice). That's exactly what happened in my case. The bile duct system in the liver was backed up, swollen, filled up with stones and other debris. Plainly it had to be drained and reconnected with the small intestine. So the docs put a tube in my side that let them drain off the bile into an external pouch. Then they set up a bypass called a stent, that let the bile drain into the small intestine once more.
Before that could happen, though, bacteria in the backed-up bile duct multiplied and grew into an infection that gave me chills and a high fever. That was cured by antibiotics.
Next happening was that the tumor caused fluid to escape from the bloodstream into the abdominal cavity. That kind of fluid is called ascites. It swelled up my belly til it was right as a drum, and made it almost impossible to eat---whatever I ate or drank raised the pressure, so material in the stomach tried to get back out by the process called reflux. It felt as if a gas bubble in the stomach were trying to get back up the esophagus. When some stomach juice did come out, it burned because of the stomach acid. Some people call it heartburn for that reason. Since I could only eat small amounts, such as a packet of instant oatmeal, I began to lose a lot of weight. Of course I was malnourished; my arms are skin and bones now, even as gravity and pressure force some of the ascites down into the feet, ankles, and calves, making them look fat as a baby's. I'll starve to death at this rate. And the ascites pressure caused another change: it shifted the pain from the back to the belly, where it manifests as intense, even agonizing gas pains that require opiate drugs.
So obviously, I need to get rid of the ascites fluid. Docs have drained it twice so far, getting about 10 pounds each time. They put in a long needle and pump the fluid out by hand.
Then finally in mid-February I got into chemotherapy. But before that, the doc decided on a second CT scan to see how the tumor is doing. The result was a shock. In the two months since the pancreatic tumor was discovered, a second pancreatic tumor had been spawned in the liver and grown to 2 cm in diameter. That's extremely rapid growth, and it told the docs that my cancer is much more aggressive then they figured. So I'll need an aggressive chemo regime to fight it. That's what I'm into now: a treatment called FOLFIRINOX, which has been shown to shrink pancreatic tumors in most people. Hopefully in me. The chemo agents themselves create symptoms that interfere with judging what the tumors are doing, but after a few rounds of chemotherapy the docs will take more scans and see how well it's working.
The following user gives a hug of support to BobTh: Angel Heart (05-23-2013)