My mom was diagnosed in August with Stage IV pancreatic cancer. It has spread to her liver. They put in a stint to open up her intestine so that she can eat, but she has severe pain every time she eats. So far, though, the food is processing ok.
She does not want treatment, only pain relief. I have looked at all of the websites about pancreatic cancer and I just don't see anything that tells me what to expect next.
Is there a progression to this disease? Since it is in the liver already will the liver fail before any other organs or does she have lung cancer to look forward to? Does the pain when she eats mean that the cancer is in her stomach already? The doctor that she has is not very forthcoming with any answers at all.
mzdmn2, I am very sorry about your mother's advanced Pancreatic Cancer. PC is one of the worse cancer a person can have because of its devastating side-effects... such as stomach pains. The Pancreas produces enzymes that are used in digestion, so when that production is affected by cancer, the individual has a hard time digesting food. It does not necessarily mean that your mother's cancer is now in her stomach although that is a possibility.
While that is a "progression" of the disease, the exact path of that progression greatly depends on the individual and where the cancer has metastasized. Since in your mother's case it is in her liver, her medical team and you will have to deal with liver related issues such as jaundice and total liver failure.
But I am going way ahead of the real question about what comes next. Just take one step at a time, learning as you go. Keep working with her own medical team to find help for her. Keep posting here too.
You and your mother are in my thoughts and prayers.
I can remeber the day we were told and I knew it was bad news the moment the Dr told us she would get some extra chairs.
It was September 9th 2008 we finally had an answer of y dad had had 2 recent strokes. He had pacreatic cancer which had already spread to the liver and lungs. Bang it hit us like a wall of fire.
Due to the aggressiveness of the cancer treatment was not an option and it was straight to pallative care for symptom and pain relief.
It is now the 3rd of October and we have my dad home and I must say I am finding things very tough, I am currently staying with my parents trying to assist my mum with dad's care. Every little finger we lay on him hurts him, he is always in pain no matter how much pain relief is given, he is barely eating and keeps nearly having hypos as he is on diabetic medication.
I just feel so helpless and frustrated it is killing me to see my dad this way.
I would like to hear from anyone out there who either is going through what I am or have in the past who could maybe give me some advice or coping strategies.
We don't know how long he has but depending on who you speak to it is any where from 1 month to 6 months and we have already seen a month past.
I am a daughter who is feeling very alone scared and helpless.
tmack you poor thing, it is truely such an aweful cancer to witness!! my dad was diangnosed in nov 07 and died on 27 june 08. we kept him at home and it was very difficult, we also had alot of trouble controling dad's pain, they ended up putting in a syringe driver that delivered doses of morphine, hypnovol and something else over a 24 hour period and we were giving him top up injections of morphine and still he was in pain. dad also had trouble eating, about the only thing he could stomach was semolina, and he drank ensure as well, that was about all he had for the last two months! my full story is on my post my wonderful dad passed away i am getting a bit too upset to go on with it! i had alot of trouble dealing with all of it and looking after my 2 small kids, i ended up taking anti depressants which helped alot. my thoughts are with you and your family and if you need any advice or just want to vent please don't hesitate!
Thanks for your comments.
Since I added my last post my dad has deteriorated quite a lot to the point where we were told yesterday that if there is anyone that wants to see him they should do it sooner rather than later. There was alot of family around tonight which was nice to have the extra support.
I managed to get a couple of hours sleep while they were all here it is now 1.12am and I find myself sitting on the couch just listening for every breath sound cause if he is going to pass on I don't want him to be alone.
So far his breathing is good and strong infact he is snoring so this makes me more comfortable.
I can't get over the deterioration in his mental state he has become totally disorientated and confused which is heart breaking for mum as she thinks she is doing the right thing keeping him at home. (which of course I totally agree with)
I am also really worried about my sister as she also has 2 kids and has been struggling to keep ot together, I am trying to get her to at least go speak to her GP.
I understand the whole need for the antidepressants as I was on them earlier this year when dad got sick with prostate cancer which he beat only to be hit with this new lot and have managed to get myself back to a level where I don't need them.
It is such a trying time trying to do the right thing by everyone.
I have been a daddy's girl all my life and hate seeing him so confused disoreientated in pain and just generally not comfortable but how to you say good bye.
I would love to read your whole story if you wouldn't mind posting the link to it as I did try and find it but couldn't.
Until next time thanks for the support
dear tania, sorry to hear that your dad has deteriotated, this also happened to my dad he got really confused and kept wondering aroung he would go to the toilet flush then walk back to the bedroom then turn around and go back to the toilet, one night mum woke and he wasn't there she found him wandering around downstairs! i think this was one of the hardest things as dad was always so quick witted and the life of the party! this happened about 10 days before he passed. i am not sure how to post a link to my previous post, i posted it aroung the 10th of july this year if that is any help, i will try find out how to post a link to it for you. it is such a hard thing to witness no one knows what it is like unless they have been there. all you can do is be there for your dad, hearing is the last function to go so even though it may not seem like it he can hear you and he will know you are there! i was with my dad at the end and it was truly aweful, but i am so glad i was there to comfort him! my email add is email@example.com please feel free to email at any time if you need to vent or need advice, i didn't find this forum til after dad passed and i really wish i had have been able to talk to someone who knew what i was going through. tell your sister to go see her doctor it is so hard to deal with kids and every day life when you are watching your loved one slip away before you, it really helped me cope. my thoughts are with you and your family! xxx