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Thread: 97 Year Old Diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer

  1. #1
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    May 2019

    97 Year Old Diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer

    Hi. My 97 year old mother-in-law has just been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and I am wondering if any of you experienced people have any insights or advice to offer us please. She lives with my husband and me, so I do most of the care giving.

    Her diagnosis resulted from tests done to try to discover the cause of persistent diarrhea and lack of appetite. An ultrasound and then CT scan both showed a tumour in the pancreas, diameter 2.7 cm, and dilation of the bile duct. Her CA-19-9 was 700. A confusing factor has been that her liver function test results were normal.She has not had any further tests, no biopsy, as the oncologist said that there was no point. No treatment is practical in someone so old, so now we have been passed on to the palliative care team.

    I am currently trying her on a low fat diet to see if we can stop the diarrhea, plus she is taking pancreatic enzymes, and this seems to be working, but we have to experiment with different things as I don't want to keep her low fat forever if not necessary, especially as she is rapidly losing weight.

    She seems to be doing OK currently - just very tired and not very hungry. She doesn't have any ongoing pain.

    Thank you for reading. All the best with your own struggles.


  2. #2
    Senior User
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    I'm struggling with a low fat diet as well, due to gall bladder issues. Try experimenting with how much she can eat without problems. No pizza, heavy cheese, potatoes chips, etc unless in very small portions. Also, for the lack of appetite(Me too with this), try asking about several different dishes - Cesar salad with croutons, salted chunks of turkey, chicken soup - till she thinks of something that mentally sounds good - that first step - thinking of something that sounds good -will help her eat more than she might usually eat. You sound like a great caregiver, hope she can find something yummy she likes.
    Mar. '18 - Diagnosed Stage IV with liver mets CA-19 124,000
    Apr. '18 - Started chemo - Gem, Abrx, Cis
    July and Sept '18 - Ct scan - all tumors shrinking
    Oct. '18 - CA-19 - 1,495
    Oct. '18 - Started Gem, Abrx 1/2 dose
    - Ca-19 up to over 6,000
    April '19 - Started 5-fu, Abraxane, Oxaliplatin
    Ca-19 down to 600, missing many doses due to
    low platelets
    Aug '19 - Started Irrinotecan, abraxane, cysplatin
    missing doses, low platelets
    Sept '19 - Ca-19 holding steady, ct scan shows 2 small
    lung nodules - 3mm, 5mm, blood clot in pulmonary
    vein, primary and liver mets stable started blood thinner
    Oct. '19 Switched back to POLF treatment - Paclitaxel,Oxaliplatin,
    Leucovorin, 5FU

  3. #3
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Thank you for your advice Jamiepat. I'll try a few of your ideas. Mostly the things that she finds most appealing are sweet - icecream and jelly, banana custard etc

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Top User ddessert's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Blog Entries
    I was going to say that some major centers have a “senior adult” oncology group that might be useful.

  5. #5
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Thank you ddessert.


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