View Full Version : Just found out my Dad has PC

10-25-2007, 08:57 PM
I'm new on here, i've been in a complete state and i thought it might help to talk to people who are going through the same thing.

My dad has just turned 60 and has been in pain for 16 weeks now, all sorts were diagnosed from indigestion to gallstones, he's been in and out of hospital having all sorts of tests, and i went to see him last saturday (he lives about 2 hours away) and he had to break the news that it's pancreatic cancer, that there's nothing they can do :cry: he's not going for chemo, he said it's not worth the pain for an extra couple of months. My dad said that the doctors have said 3 or 4 months, is this just a guideline? because i've been reading about people who have died after 10 days from diagnosis. I do know that the cancer has spread to the lungs (they thought they were blood clots originally) He's gone from a man who did an hour on the cross trainer every day just 4 months ago, to losing 4 stone and being out of breath after a couple of steps. Does anyone have more of a clue how long my dad has got? Are the doctors taking into account the 16 weeks he's been in excruciating pain?

I'm going to see my dad tomorrow and spend the weekend with him, but it's going to be so hard to stay strong, i just keep thinking that he will never walk me down the aisle, or see my children. My partner seems to think i'm dealing with it really well and that "it's starting to sink in" but i think i'm just numb, i'm detaching myself from it, it just feels like my whole world has been destroyed and it will never, ever, be right again


10-26-2007, 05:57 PM

I went through the same thing you are going through around a year ago. See my post reply to the "Advice" thread.

Like you and I am sure most of us here in this forum, I was absolutely in a state of shock. It felt like I couldn't move. I was stuck, not being able to move forward or backward.

Would I ever be able to feel true happiness again? Would things ever feel normal again? How would I make it without my beloved mom who has been right next to me every step of the way and was the glue who held our family together.......

I completely detached myself. I had no other choice. I barely cried at first. Everyone told me how strong I was but it was all a bunch of b.s. You have to do what you have to do to survive. When it truly hit me, I sank really deep. I'm still digging myself out of it 10 months later. I felt that if we bought a new house (which we did a couple of months later), it would make me happy. I felt that if I got a new job (which I did shortly after she passed away), it would make me happy. All of these things helped but the incredible loss is still there and I truly yearn for her. I'm hoping to get to the point where my dreams of her aren't nighmares of her last 3 months but instead the type of dreams where I don't want to wake up.

There's a song from the Foo Fighters called "Times Like These". Around 7 months after my mom died, I went on an annual girls trip to NYC with my closest friends. We had a wonderful time and I heard that song when we were out. It said "It's times like these when you learn to live again". It made me cry tears of happiness because I realized that I could and was feeling happy again. My close friend's mom also passed away and he told me that time does heal but there will become a new "normal". I think that saying is very true although it is so very hard to believe when you're going through it. I miss my mom so much and still to this day cry for her and ache for her but it's not the same sharp, horrible pain that I used to feel. It's duller and intermingled with many moments of joy and happiness. We have a beautiful and amazing 2 year old son and he has been the source of much of my healing.

As far as his time left, my mom was given 3-6 months. She died 2 months later after her final diagnosis. She was feeling extremely fatigued and in some pain for around 2 months before she was officially diagnosed. She too was given the run-around (i.e. heartburn) at first. She declined chemo treatment since it wasn't curative since she was already Stage 4 by the time of diagnosis. The signs to look for at the end are extreme fatigue (sleeping almost 24 hours a day), incredible weakness (can't move without assistance), the need for hospice care (have you sought this out yet?? if not, you absolutely should), no appetitie and eventually my mom stopped urinating in her last two days. I'm sorry to sound so morbid.

What I found really helpful (and it was good for my husband and brother too) was to take on a big project at my parent's home. During Thanksgiving, my mom was just diagnosed. She was sleeping a lot of the time. We cleaned out literally 30 years of stuff from their basement and got a huge dumpster and cleaned house. It was actually really helpful because I could actually do something to help my mom (not sure why we waited until this point) and could direct my energy towards something tangible.

I will pray for you and your father.

10-28-2007, 07:56 PM

It really means a lot to me that you've taken the time to get back to me, i would have replied sooner but i've spent the weekend at my dads. I'm so sorry to hear about your mom, i think i started to forget how many other people out there are going through what i am.

It's been a really hard few days, my dad has been dosing in and out of sleep for most of it, he's bought himself a reclining, massaging chair that he stays in, he's had no appitite, over the last few days he's eaten a total of about 4 buscuits, some ice cream and some mashed potato. my dad and my stepmum have got a hospice on standby, but he says he doesn't want to go unless he starts dehydrating and needs to go on a drip, he still moves around, (only to go the toilet...and to help find my brothers car keys today!)he's very weak, he's been giving me messages to pass on to my mum and telling me he's accepted things and that he's not scared. My stepmum said today that she thinks he's going downhill very quickly, and she feels that he's losing the will to live. Me and my brother thought that it was just all the morphine that he's on, but i'm not so sure now. He's got to go back to the hospital tomorrow to discuss chemo. but i don't think even the doctors are keen in him having it, as he'd have to have a biopsy -which they haven't done as they've said the cancer isn't hard formed it's more "jelly like and latching onto everything" and they don't think they'd be able to get a sample, my dad feels like the cancer is getting worse in his lungs now.

i'm sorry to keep going on by the way, but i don't know anyone else who's been through it.

I've already had a week off work (i'm worrying terribly about work - i'm a manager of two opticians, and i think my area manager thinks this isn't as bad as it actually is, and is possibly expecting me back very soon) i'm going to go the doctor tomorrow and getting a sick note for a couple of weeks, so i can keep going to visit him.

In your opinion Jennifer, going by your experience, do you think he's in final stages, should i be preparing myself for the worst, and should i be worrying about getting back to work, i'm almost feeling guilty for not going! I feel rediculous asking you about my work, but if i knew if the worst is going to happen soon, i wouldn't be worrying about work, although now i feel selfish for worrying about things like this.

I have been keeping myself busy, and i've got a few wardrobes that need clearing out, so i'll take your advice and do them.

Your words really did help, and to know that there are people out there that can help me through this, is nice.

thanks again Jennifer
lots of love xxxx

10-29-2007, 01:46 AM

Have you considered in-home hospice care as opposed to going to a hospice facility? My mom had medicare and it was covered 100% (in NY) for in-home care for 8 hours a day. We ended up needed more and paid for the extra out-of-pocket but it was well worth it. I live in Chicago and it is also covered here 100%. Please check on that. Your dad can live in the comfort of his own home but have a nurse come to help bathe him, change his sheets, help to the bathroom, watch him sleep to make sure he doesn't try to get up, etc. The hospice organizations come and do an overall assessment. You typically have to sign a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) and have a primary care-giver there full-time (i.e. your stepmom).

From what you have described, it certainly sounds like he is declining quickly (and I'm so sorry about that). When the end is near, our hospice director told me look for ceasing of urinating / bowel movements (because the kidneys are often the last to go) and sleeping 99% of the time with almost zero energy to get up or move much without assistance. My mom barely ate much in her last week (although oddly she requested a poached egg of all things the morning she passed away) and drank very little as well.

Worrying about work is so natural. Of course you are worrying about work. It is necessary for YOUR survival so give yourself a break. You mentioned that you live 2 hours away. Is it possible to take an extended family and medical leave (usually without pay)? If not, then perhaps you can just take long weekends (Friday - Sunday night). Do just what you can and try as hard as you can to not feel guilty about it. For me, I live around 12 hours away via car, was working full-time, have a young child and missed my mom's last week of her life. I feel horribly guilty because my husband went to see her the last week in my place. I was going the following week but she didn't make it. I know that I did what I could and my mom knew that I loved her dearly and would be mad at me now for being so hard on myself but I can't help it.

Some of my friends were like "be grateful that you can spend these precious days together". When people die suddenly (in a car crash), they never know what hit them and there is little suffering. For the people around them, it's extremely hard of course because they couldn't say "goodbye". What I experienced is that I couldn't have these deep conversations with my mom after she died. It was too hard, mostly for her. She cried everytime I told her I loved her - and I probably saw her cry only a handful of times in her life (normally during movies). I felt so useless and broken just waiting for her to die. It still haunts me as you can probably tell.

What I would recommend for you is to get the nurse or doctor to give you an assessment on his stage. A week before my mom passed away, she was still able to eat at the dining room table and walk around with a little bit of help. Things can change quickly.

Sammy - you will find strength that you never knew existed. Your dad's lack of fear and acceptance is a blessing in and of itself. Email me at [email protected] anytime you want.

Thinking of you

11-13-2007, 10:01 PM
Hi Jennifer
Hope you're ok! It's been quite a hectic time, but i do send my oppologies for not getting back to you sooner. My Dad is deteriorating rapidly now, it's been a particularly horrible day today, i drove down to see him this morning, and the doctor was round. He'd had a bad day yesterday, the sickness tablets he's been taking, are making him sick (?!) and he hasn't been able to eat for the last two days, but he vomited blood last night, he's incredibly weak, he sleeps practically all the time now, except for last night he didn't get ant sleep at all. So he's had to go into hospital today, he needs to be rehydrated, and they want to do some tests to try and find out where the bleed is from, then he goes to the hospice on thursday, my dad's hoping he'll only be in for a couple of days, but i'm not feeling too hopeful about that. He's looking worse every time i see him, and he's lost his perkiness now. I've managed to keep myself together (or block it out...whatever) over the last couple of weeks, but after today i don't think i can, i don't think i'll be able to cope without him. i'm planning to go and see him again when he's out of the hospital, (although they'll phone me if they think that i need to be there sooner) my dad cried today when i was leaving, and that just destroyed me,

I just can't believe how fast this evil, evil disease takes hold, and destroys families.

Thanks again, for your time

Sending you hugs

Sam xxxx

Ps. How's your little boy? x

11-13-2007, 10:23 PM
Hi Sam, I am very sorry about your father's Pancreatic Cancer. I have been following your story from your first post. It must be very hard for you not to be able to stay with him. Yes, Pancreatic Cancer is truly an evil disease for which there is no really good treatment. Even with very aggressive treatments the prognosis is poor. For whatever comfort it might be, be assured that you are not alone. We are all here for you.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your father today.

11-14-2007, 08:29 AM
I am sorry to hear about your dad is having PC. I am afraid perhaps it would be best for you to spend as much time as you can with him. Just before I lost my dad, he vomitted blood and it is mostly sign of internal bleeding, which is very serious if it does not stop. He was very weak thereafter and left us in 3 days after.

You can get some opinion from your doctors too. They will have some rough idea though they might not tell you. Just try.

Prayer for your dad.

11-17-2007, 10:57 PM
Hi all,

Firstly thankyou for taking the time out to reply to my posts, you really are wonderful people, Jim..I've read your blog, and i think you are one of the most inspirational people i've ever had the pleasure to come across! and my prayers are with you also xx

hwh1.. thankyou for your advice, i'll be spending as much time with him as i possibly can, i'm so sorry for your loss, my heart is with you xx

Well i've spent the day at the hospice with my dad, some of my dads brothers and sister made it as well, which is nice since he's never really had a great relationship with some of them. They've put my dad on steriods to try and increase his appitite a bit which seems to have worked so far, he had two bowls of soup throughout today, which is the most i've seen him have in weeks. It's been a very emotional day though, i wrote my dad a letter last night, just telling him some things that i wouldn't have been able to tell him without crying, and me and my brother decided to buy and name a star after him, which he absolutely loved! He didn't read the letter while everyone was there, but he's just text me say he's just read it.

I must just say what wonderful people work in the hospice, i really didn't like the idea of him going there at first - it seems more real. But it's a wonderful place, so serene.

Anyway, i'd like to thank you all again, i'll say a prayer for all of us tonight

take care

lots of love xxx

01-16-2008, 11:17 AM
Just an update, for anyone who followed my story...

My Lovely, Brave Dad died on Dec 22nd, at the Katharine House Hospice, with all the people who he loved round him...he battled for breath for two days...we were told that he kept going because his heart was so strong.
During the course of those 2 days, we were told that dad didn't know what was going on round him...he went on to prove them wrong and he woke up, he managed to tell us he loved us, he kissed my hand, he managed to have a joke with us, he also had lots of conversations with people who weren't there, which was lovely to witness. I know my Dad is with me all the time now, and i am no longer scared about what lies ahead for us all.

Dad, i love you with all my heart. Dweet sweams xxxxxxxxxxxx

I send all my love and thoughts to all of you on here xxxx

01-16-2008, 01:00 PM
Sammy, I am very sorry about the death of your father. Pancreatic cancer is such a terrible disease. It sound like his last few days were very special ones for you.

Best wishes.

01-19-2008, 12:58 AM
I read your posts and it made me cry with empathy. I lost my beautiful, brave mom on Dec. 14th, 07, from NSC lung cancer...I watched and waited and mourned while she slowly prepared herself for her transition to the next life. I was able to say the things that I needed to say, and do the things that I needed to do to help her on her journey. Life will truly never be the same...Be blessed and I am so very sorry for your loss. Take care, Kim