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  • Father in law diagnosed with pancreatic cancer lastnight, what to expect?

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    Old 12-15-2004, 07:03 AM   #1
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    Father in law diagnosed with pancreatic cancer lastnight, what to expect?

    Hello. I posted on this board a couple of weeks ago with questions on my moms pain medication (she is in the final stages of lung cancer) and got great input. Well, my father in law has been having alot of pain in his back and elsewhere and after 5 months of doctor visits and tests, he was told lastnight in the hospital (he's been there just over a week) that he has cancer of the pancreas. He is 74 and has been so completely full of life, a real go getter. We were told that he has a large tumor at the top (head) of the pancreas and that it is too large to operate on but the doctors are hoping that with chemo and radiation it can be shrunk down enough to do surgery. I'm hoping someone can give me and my husband some insite from experience on this. I'm trying to keep my husband hopeful but from what I've heard it's very unlikely that surgery will ever take place. He's in alot of pain and we were just wondering what to expect. Should I start preparing our children now for the loss of two grandparents? Thanks so much.

    Last edited by mimirea; 12-15-2004 at 07:18 AM.

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    Old 12-19-2004, 07:48 AM   #2
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    Re: Father in law diagnosed with pancreatic cancer lastnight, what to expect?

    Well, perhaps nobody else has had experience with pancreatic cancer that visits this site. We were at my husbands parents home lastnight and everyone is extremely positive that the chemo & radiation (which he starts this week) will shrink the tumor and he will have it removed and all will be fine. I'll just go with that for now, though I'm afraid that might not be the road ahead. Wish someone had some input.

    Old 12-19-2004, 08:32 AM   #3
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    Re: Father in law diagnosed with pancreatic cancer lastnight, what to expect?

    Hi Mimirea,
    I can't help you with any info on pancreatic cancer, but just wanted to say that I think you have the best attitude about it. I think you've got to take it one day at a time and not look forward too far ahead. Stranger things have happened than a tumor shrinking, so it is definitely possible. I am sorry for the loss of your mother from lung cancer. I am going through it now with my sister. She has extensive small cell. It's tough, but I've gained a lot of strength by just reading some of the experiences on this board.

    Anyway, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I will hope for a good outcome!

    Old 12-27-2004, 09:20 PM   #4
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    Re: Father in law diagnosed with pancreatic cancer lastnight, what to expect?

    I am very sorry to hear of your Father's diagnoses. My Father was taking care of his elderly Aunt when he was having some back pain and constipation. I thought it was due to his stress levels and sleeping in a hospital chair sitting up. His aunt was dying from pancreatic cancer at the age of 84 and my father wanted to be there for her. While in the hospital I advised him to see a doctor since the pain was getting worse. HE had an x-ray that revealed a spot on the tail of his pancreas. I immediately flew him home and picked him up at the Airport to see a very jaundice and ill man. In a matter of a week he looked as if he had aged ten years and lost ten pounds. After many tests and aggravating doctor appointments it was determined that he would need surgery to remove his spleen and that it did not appear to be pancreatic cancer. He went in for surgery to remove his spleen and the doctor came out within 45 minutes to tell my mother and I that my father was terminally ill with pancreatic cancer and that he had @ three months to live. I knew in the back of my mind that this was what my father had but could not believe the irony of it all.. How could my Great Aunt have this and my fahter was with her and he had begun to have the dame symptoms. My father was a helicopter pilot in Veitnam and I believe a lot of his health issues where due to the toxic chemicals he was expsoed to.

    I was six months pregnant with my first child and my parents first grandchild and I knew what pancreatic cancer was due to extensive research for my father to help him understand what his aunt was going through. I was devastated! I immediately prepared my family for what we where about to go through and I advise anyone to do the same.... READ all you can about the disease and try to be strong. This is a very ugly and painful disease. My father was a 56 year war hero with four children (the youngest still 14). He was full of life and loved his family. I was the oldest and closest to my father. I spent everyday with him up until the end. He lasted just over three months having very few good days and never meeting his granddaugther. At the end he managed to tell me that he already seen her in his dreams and would hold her before I would because where he was going allowed him to do so.

    The pain management is the most important thing. Make sure you Father talks about his levels of pain. My father had a very high pain tolerance but he expressed how much pain he was in when questioned.
    Please read about the dying process...I am not trying to deflate your hope for your father's recovery but knowing what to expect and reconizing the signs if they occur is half the battle. I have a lot of insight and knowledge about this disease. I also advise anyone related to notify their doctors of the diagnosis and have them informed of what the symptoms are. THis disease seems to strike families. There are many case studies going on for those who have one or more relatives in their family with this disease.
    If you would like further information please let me know. I am not sure what you want to know. I can only tell you what I have expericed by losing two family members to this disgusting disease.

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