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k2626 05-27-2008 11:15 PM

Pancreatic cancer stage 4
My father was just diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. I am so devasted by this news. Has anyone on this board dealt with a loved one and pancreatic cancer? I am so sad, and so lost, I feel very helpless right now.

babysister66 05-28-2008 07:27 AM

Re: Pancreatic cancer stage 4
My thoughts are with you. I lost my mother to breast cancer that metastisized and ran wild through her body. It is always hard to face losing a parent. The only thing I can say is spend as much time together as possible. I treasure my time with my mom that we got to share. Be there. Best wishes.

smadie 05-28-2008 10:52 AM

Re: Pancreatic cancer stage 4
My mom passed away September 28, 2007 after a 3 1/2 year battle with Pancreatic Cancer. Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, MD and MD Anderson in Texas are the top 2 places in the country for treatment of this type of very deadly cancer. Please contact one of them. Do a search under Johns Hopkins pancreatic cancer for lots of info and message boards dedicated to pancreatic cancer. Wanda

Mel52 05-28-2008 10:56 PM

Re: Pancreatic cancer stage 4
K2626, I am sorry about your dad and sorry for you too having to deal with a loved one going through this. Pancreatic cancer is a rough one. My best friend of 41 years recently passed away one year after diagnosis. She did really well for months still working full time but something happened with her muscles enzymes and she couldn't move her legs anymore. The doctors had not seen this before so her situation became a case study. She went home after being in the hospital for 3 weeks but it was the beginning of a quick downward spiral. You do want your dad at a top hospital that specializes in this type of cancer. The doctors can hook your dad up with clinical trials and they have the highly skilled requirements if surgery is an option.The previous post recommended the John Hopkins Hospital. I still read the John Hopkins message board daily as there are some great people there with tons of information, support and survivors. Also contact Pan-Can. Get informed so you can help your dad and yourself.

k2626 05-29-2008 11:02 AM

Re: Pancreatic cancer stage 4
Thank you all for your replies. I guess my question is why send him out of state to a top hospital if his condition is not treatable?

Mel52 05-29-2008 01:13 PM

Re: Pancreatic cancer stage 4
I am no expert in this believe me, but sometimes chemo can reduce the tumors enough to become a candidate for surgery depending on where the tumors are. The "right" combo of chemo can make a difference in quality of life. Sometimes situations come up making procedures necessary even without chemo. Again, check out pancan, read up on everything so you can make an informed decision. Good luck. Where has the cancer spread to? His liver?

k2626 05-29-2008 03:09 PM

Re: Pancreatic cancer stage 4
Yep its spread to his liver....we get those biopsy results next week

Why isnt there some sort of test everyone can have annually to dedect cancer? I do not get this. It runs rampid in my family and now I am paranoid myself about aches I have been having!

Mel52 05-30-2008 06:57 PM

Re: Pancreatic cancer stage 4
THe pancreas is deep in the body surrounded by other organs so it is difficult to see, that is why so many are stage 4 when the cancer is found. My girlfriend had a back pain that spread around to her side. She thought she had pulled a muscle working one of her horses. She complained of fatigue, but she did work really long hours and had a heart attack the previous year. She had gained alot of weight so she thought that was the fatigue. Her blood sugar was elevated and was told she was diabetic. Again, she thought the weight was the culprit. She was taking oral pills and her stomach was hurting. We had gone shopping together and then to lunch. She picked at her food stating that her stomach hurt, probably from the pills. She said she would go back to the doctor. Her daughter-in-law is a critical care nurse and told her to get checked out really well. She had MRIs and scans and the cancer showed up. She was scheduled for the whipple surgery but the surgery was cancelled because the liver cancers were too deep and in different areas of the liver to be zapped.

k2626 05-30-2008 08:52 PM

Re: Pancreatic cancer stage 4
Me being the hypo that I paranoid I have it too. Have had left sided stomach pain (about 3 inches left of my belly button) for a week (dull constant pain) feel it in my back too. I had the same thing, same place 1.5 yrs ago and went to the dr about it....they did not do any testing (just my overies) and after a wk it went away. Every now and then for the past yrs I get a very sharp pain there, it hurt so bad that the first time I went to the ER--over the past yr when I get the sharp pain it seems to be during or after a BM (sorry for the TMI). Now I am scared I have it too. Have been tired and losing weight though that could be from the stress of all of my dads illness.
So now I am going to get an ab ultra sound next week and pray I do not have it as well.

Mel52 05-31-2008 12:00 AM

Re: Pancreatic cancer stage 4
Glad you are having the ultrasound, for some peace of mind if nothing else. The doctors may look a little closer now. Pancreatic cancer does seem to run in families from what I have learned from reading the John Hopkins site and my girlfriend's situation. The stress of your dad's cancer could certainly cause fatigue and pains for you. So many other reasons though, can mimic the symptoms. Irritable bowel and inflammation for example. I have to say after my best friend was diagnosed, I have been freaked about it also. I worry about her adult children as their diet consists of really high fats.

k2626 05-31-2008 11:26 AM

Re: Pancreatic cancer stage 4
Thanks for your replies, Mel. Do you know if there is anything we can do to screen for this each year?

Mel52 05-31-2008 06:07 PM

Re: Pancreatic cancer stage 4
That seems to be one of the problems with diagnosis. It seems not one test is THE test to determine the cancer. There is some testing going on regarding the genetics connection. Really, do check it out. You need to really get alot more information than I can provide. It can be overwhelming dealing with this cancer with little information. Your dad may want your imput on options he may have now and down the road. It is necessary to know as doctors often don't know or share important information.

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