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Ruth, age 72, my mother entered the emergency room of University of Wis.
Hospital on February 15,2000, the day after Valentine's Day. She couldn't
keep any food down. She threw up at the end of every day. Her regular
doctor, a gerontologist, thought that she just had the flu or some minor
gallblader problem. My brothers were the ones who insisted that she go to
the emergency room. After waiting all day, the hospital decided to keep her
and run tests.Within a week, the doctors dtermined that she had pancreatic
cancer. They did a whipple on her and removed a 5cm tumor from the head of
the pancreas. They also froze some cancerous areas on her liver. Ruth was
hospitalized for a few weeks and then went to a nursing home for a few weeks
to regain her strength. Since March 18 she has been at home. She has been
busy gardening and getting her affairs in order. So far, she has undergone
two different trials of chemotherapy. On June 16, they did a CATscan, but the
doctor and radiologist had difficulty reading it, so they haven't been able
to tell Ruth anything new. Ruth has been maintaining her weight and usually
has a healthy appetite. She doesn't like having her blood drawn because the
nurses have a hard time finding the right vein and she has some digestive
problems that she didn't have before.The doctors tell our family that
pancreatic cancer is fatal and that there is no cure, but none of the doctors
have told Ruth or us how long she can expect to live.
Posted 06/23/2000 10:33 pm by Linda
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