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Thread: Stage 4 PC with too many liver lesions to count, how soon to start chemo

  1. #1
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Aug 2017

    Stage 4 PC with too many liver lesions to count, how soon to start chemo

    64 male father in law went in over two months ago for weight loss and bowel issues upper lower gi, etc then finally...
    8/10 CT scan showed liver mets - too many to count suspects pancreatic cancer
    8/17 MRI no more info
    8/20 biopsy of Liver mets
    8/23 Results - adnocarcinoma primary tract of pancreas poorly differentiated
    8/29 Port placed and hopefully chemo tomorrow

    Any idea how long he has been at stage 4?

    Any advice - we are looking at juicing along with chemo...good idea? Doctor says eat anything but sugar feeds cancer right?

    How long realistically are we looking at here? Any idea how long he's been at stage 4?

    Thank you to all who reply and I am praying for everyone on this site!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Top User ddessert's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Sorry about your father-in-law's diagnosis. This must have been a very hectic month for the entire family.

    There's no telling how long he's been at stage 4, but these mets must be large enough to be seen on scans which means they've been there several weeks at least. A poorly differentiated cancer will likely grow and spread faster...

    The doctor is right that he should eat whatever he wants. That sugars feed cancer is a myth, not fact. Please look at reputable sites when looking for information on this. The fact is that PanCan is a cancer of the GI tract and makes digestion very difficult. A majority of our patients lose a lot of weight. The ones that live the longest are able to keep the weight on.

    Juicing can cause a lot of problems in patients with pancreatic cancer. I'd recommend he contact an oncology nutritionist at the hospital where he'll be treated. Cancer of the GI organs can make for unique nutritional requirements.

    The amount of time he has his very related to how effective his treatment will be. Doctors will often quote something like 6 months with treatment, but this is a median time. 1/2 patients will live less and 1/2 will live longer. The ones that live longer can live MUCH longer - many years, in fact.

    If he is in the USA, PanCan.org is the main patient-centric resource.

    Prepare for the worst, but hope for the best.

    BRCA2 3398del5
    Dec 2010 - back/abd pain
    May 2011 - Unresectable stage III, 2.5cm tumor
    Jun-Aug 2011 - Gem/Cis, 9 rounds
    Oct-Nov 2011 - Radiation+Xeloda, 25 days in 5 weeks
    Oct 2011-Sep 2012 - shrinking tumor
    Feb 2012 - National Familial Pancreatic Study
    Aug 2012 - Downgraded to stage IIA, PGP
    Sep 2012 - Whipple, T3N0M0, 0.5cm tumor, 0/16 lymph nodes
    Dec 2012 - Quebec PanCan Study
    Sep 2012-May 2018 - NED
    Mar 2013-present - NCT01088789

  3. #3
    Experienced User
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    This sounds very similar to where my dad was when he was diagnosed. Please look at my signature to see how it all played out. Remember, everyone is different but the oncologist should be able to give a guestimate how things may go. They said under 3months without chemo and 3-6 months with chemo. He did 2 rounds of chemo and decided to stop. I do think it stalled things ever so slightly but it wouldn't have been worth it for him to do continue. Thinking of you.
    Jan 15, 2016 Father went to the ER with extreme abdominal pain...
    Jan 16, 2016 unofficially diagnosed with pancreatic cancer stage IV in the tail, too many mets in his liver to count, spleen and lung.
    Folfirinox-2 doses in February 2016
    March 2016-discont. chemo
    Apr 2016 severe onset of diabetes
    June 15, 2016 Celebrated he/my mom's 47th Wedding Anniversary eating pier fries/fried dough (I think this was his goal...to live to make it 47 years)
    June 15th, 2016 at 11:00 PM experienced sharp abdominal pain not managed with pain meds at home
    June 16th, 2016 at 3am went into the hospice home for pain management (walked into the facility).
    June 16th, 2016 by 11am...we learned this would be where he would spend his last days (shocked because at 9am he took a few sips of coffee)
    June 17th, 2016 at 8:20 pm...sun was setting, windows were open, birds chirping, my mom/me/my brother were all by his side with our hands on his body as he took his last breath at 68 years old.

  4. #4
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    First off, I'm sorry that you are here with us. The journey you are embarking on is hard no matter how long or short it may be. Learn as much as you can so that you can help make informed decisions. As ddessert mentioned above, it's very important for them to eat. My father was diagnosed 07/22/16 at age 65 with stage IV, mets in the liver, lung and stomach. My dad didn't go to a center of excellence as he has an HMO for insurance and was not interested in traveling for care. He has lost over 75lbs and it has become increasingly difficult for us to find anything that he can eat. Eating has been our biggest struggle over the duration of the past year. His main diet has become meal replacement shakes and even those he now doesn't want to drink. I believe that a big part of why he is still here is because of how strong he was to start with and how much extra weight he had available to lose. He didn't do any special chemo's, everything was first and second line treatment. We are happy to still have him here after a full year, as that isn't always the case for stage IV diagnosis. He is deteriorating quickly now and I do not see another year in our future, 6 months looks like a stretch, but we have taken advantage of the time we did get.

    Things I wish we (he) did differently:
    Go to a center of excellence right away
    Pack additional lbs on to him in the beginning when he was still eating most foods
    Keep him active - the chemo made him pretty tired and he got very used to "relaxing" the day away
    Push for creaon earlier

    Best of luck to your family!


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