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RUTH


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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