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flowrs6 01-04-2009 09:19 PM

end stage pancreatic cancer what to expect
end stage pancreatic cancer what to expect

Maelef 01-05-2009 07:26 AM

Re: end stage pancreatic cancer what to expect
Hello flowers6.....i can tell you a bit about this. I will warn you tho that what i'm about to tell you isnt pretty, as pancreatic cancer is a very quick and nasty cancer.

My father was diagnosed at the end of August during a routine Doc checkup. At that point, all was fine with him except for a bit of weight loss and abdominal pain, which we attributed to indigestion or acid reflux. So it was a big blow when she told us that he had 6 months left. Dad just passed away on Dec 27th. The last couple months he was very jaundiced. As the days went by, he was eating less and less. When the end came, he had gone down to nothing but skin and bones, his ribs sticking out thru his frail body. He had lost so much weight my hand could fit around his thigh. Up until the final few weeks, he seemed pretty good, except for the weight loss, and a bit of weakness. But then he went downhill really fast. Unable to respond to me at all, or even know i was there with him. He started hallucinating, grabbing for things in the air that weren't there and not making any sense in whatever he said. There will be alot of pain, but morphine can control that. It did with my dad. During final week or so, dad stopped drinking, so the only fluids he was getting was thru the wet sponge thing the nurses wet his lips with. Urine will be very dark and at the end, his fluid output was almost nothing. His liver was completely gone by the time the last month came, which is why he stopped eating. I was able to get him to have a twinkie and other comfort foods, but the last couple weeks he didnt eat anything. I know this post isn't really telling you much or helping, but right now my thoughts are kinda jumbled as i am still coping with the loss. It happened very quickly. In four months time, he went from the dad i've always known and loved to a shell of the man i once knew. His mind at one point before he went into the care center was very confused. It looked like signs of Alzheimer's, but it was due to the ammonia in his blood from his failing liver. It happens so suddenly that it's like someone just rips out your heart. My thoughts are with you as you go thru this horrible experience. Just take those days, if it's a loved one going thru this, where they are normal as can be and enjoy them to the fullest. I know what you are going thru, and i hope this post helped a little. :(

demaro 01-19-2009 07:02 PM

Re: end stage pancreatic cancer what to expect
hello, i am searching for same question. my mother is 62 and dx with pc in march of 08. i am trying to prepare myself for the near furture. i am one of her primary caregivers. i am so lucky to have found this site. m mother is my life and my best friend. so scared of what the future may bring.

Mel52 01-19-2009 08:24 PM

Re: end stage pancreatic cancer what to expect
I am sorry you both are going through loved ones having this. My friend's mom was diagnosed at the end of October and passed on Dec 22. My best friend of 41 years was diagnosed in Sept 06. She had a back pain, was diagnosed diabetic and was fatigued. She took on chemo, continued working for 8 months, took a leave from work, always hoping to go back. However, she started losing weight, the cancer spread even more and her muscle enzymes disappaited, so she couldn't move her lower body. She passed a little over a year after diagnosis.
Take pictures, tell your mom everything you want to say, don't miss the opportunity to make memories now to cherish later on. It's a cruel cancer, hard to beat because of the late diagnosis in most cases.

demaro 01-21-2009 11:26 AM

Re: end stage pancreatic cancer what to expect
thank you for your support. I will continue to also be there for others no and in the future, if it helps them to talk.

vbeiter 04-25-2009 03:28 PM

Re: end stage pancreatic cancer what to expect
My Father was dx in October with PC. He had a stint put in then. I was wonder if he is in the final stages. He eats very little each day sometimes nothing. Drinking a glass of OJ 5 out of 7 days. We try to get him to drink Ensure as well. He has no energy at all. He has lost a lot of weight. The Dr put him on the Morphine patch (30mg) which was to strong and he took him off 4 days later. He has the liquid morphine in 15mg does every 2 hours if needed. ( Family is hesitate to give morphine because you loss contact with the person). He is suffering with back pain at times or mid section pain. We aren't sure if the pain is all the time or just pains for a short period of time. Iím a big advocate of hospice, but other members of the family are not. They feel that they are going to OD him before his time. My mother wants to continue taking care of my father. I think soon he will be bed ridden. I have never heard a bad thing about Hospice ,but I feel a bit guilty for being pro hospice when other family members are convinced it isn't time yet. At the moment my father doesnít want hospice either. Ultimately it is my parents decision.

Thanks for any advice!

Mel52 04-25-2009 05:26 PM

Re: end stage pancreatic cancer what to expect
Is your dad stage 4? I am making an assumption because they put a stent in probably to drain bile. My friend stayed at home and her husband took care of her. There was no point to have her go back to the hospital as they just kept poking her with needles so she wanted to be home. Hospice was called in a few days before she died. She wasn't wanting to eat. Watermelon was basically all she would take in. As the body shuts down, desire for food and water get less and less. She also stopped talking and sleeping more.
I am sorry your dad is dealing with this ugly cancer

vbeiter 04-25-2009 07:20 PM

Re: end stage pancreatic cancer what to expect
We are not sure what stage. We don't really want to know. But as time goes on I was wondering where we are in the game. Thank you for your reply.

Mel52 04-25-2009 09:37 PM

Re: end stage pancreatic cancer what to expect
we're here if you need anyone. So you have no regrets, just make sure you tell your dad how much you love him. Down the road it will give you peace that nothing was left unsaid.

weedmnreap 04-27-2009 08:10 PM

Re: end stage pancreatic cancer what to expect
I have gathered a great deal of information from this thread. My Dad almost passed from PC last Oct, but thankfully, the chemo worked for a bit. He's now on Hospice, losing weight, having pain after meals, and is jaundiced again. I'm wondering how on earth to know when is the time for me to utilize my Family Medical leave and go to stay w/ him and my Mom. I'm leaning toward playing it safe and going soon. I'm 2 hours away right now, and not exactly sure what I'd do at this time other than be support for my Mom. I appreciate any and all opinions and thoughts! Thanks, Judy

k2626 04-29-2009 06:01 PM

Re: end stage pancreatic cancer what to expect
Hi Judy. My dad was dx'd last May, he past 2 1/2 months later. He lived in AZ (alone) and I live in San Fran CA. I had the ability to fly out each week which was great. However, as time went along I did not know when to leave to and when to return etc.

How much time off do you get? If its a short amount of time I would ask yourself if it would be more important to be there while still "coherent", or closer to the end. My dad got VERY out of it near the end and often forgot where he was etc.....

Mel52 04-29-2009 06:01 PM

Re: end stage pancreatic cancer what to expect
Judy I am sorry about your dad. I know it is different for people but for my girlfriend when it was getting close to the end, she didn't want to eat. She had said it was hurting to eat but she then lost interest in eating. I even bought her some truffle chocolates, but a week later she had only taken one bite of one. The last week she ate a little watermelon so lack of eating for her was a big indication. She slept most of the time. Her skin color became very dark. When awake she didn't seem focused. She would look at me and not say anything. The last week she made it clear she did not want any company, only family and thankfully me, her best friend for over 40 years. The last few days she didnt talk, except to call her husband's name or to say to move her. That was it. The night of her passing, her daughter-in-law, who is a nurse, called to say she thought her time was near as her breathing was changing. I jumped in my car and made the hour drive to say goodbye. She waited for me. I had 10 more precious minutes with her before she slipped away.
I hope this gives you some help.

weedmnreap 04-29-2009 06:40 PM

Re: end stage pancreatic cancer what to expect
Thank you both for your replies. Mel, I can see that my Dad's journey may be very similar to your friends. How very special that she waited for you and you had those last few moments! I thank you for your honesty!
K, so sorry your Dad passed so quickly, but then again, it was probably a blessing. I have plenty of time off thanks to the Family Medical Leave Act. It's just not paid. I definitely want to be there while he's coherent which is why I'm thinking sooner rather than later. My guestimate is in the next 2 weeks or so. Right now, though jaundiced, he's still up and about, eating much less than usual, but smaller meals throughout the day.

k2626 04-29-2009 06:44 PM

Re: end stage pancreatic cancer what to expect
You can also try to get an idea as to what hospice thinks. I tried that route however and they told me things can just change over night. With my Dad, there was definite changes but not over night. He went from eating some (cereal, some fruit, soup) to eating very little (two slices of grapefruit, a couple bites of ice cream), he started to sleep more, get a bit more out of it (seeing things that were not there, being spaced out), swelling of ankles, more hiccups--so that is when I knew it was getting closer. I was there every step of the way, so if you have any questions feel free to reach out.

weedmnreap 04-29-2009 06:54 PM

Re: end stage pancreatic cancer what to expect
Hospice only said "everyone is different", which I know. Thanks again, I'm sure I'll be posting more questions after my visit this weekend. I hope these q&a's will help others on the journey also.

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