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Pancreas Cancer

Why did he die? was posted 09/29/2014 05:33 pm by kelly
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My dad passed away on Friday after fighting pNET for almost 5 years. I am utterly destroyed. we knew two months ago he had developed substantial ascites. the docs were trying him on a reduced dose of temodar (100 mg a day) and xeloda (1000 mg a day, divided twice daily) because he was weak. He flew out with my mother to see me and my kids where we live in San Diego. he got off the plane and was very tired and weak, but we chalked it up to chemo and travel and put him to bed. the next day we were able to get him up and he sat on the couch, but he got very drowsy and it was clear something was wrong. We took him to the ER - albumin low, creatinine and potassium and white blood cell count high. they treated it as sepsis, but nothing ever grew out of any of the cultures or the ascites fluid that they drained. Numbers all normalized, but he seemed to grow more confused. They sent him home after 5 days. We knew then that more chemo was out of the question, but were determined to enjoy the rest of the trip. We got to a baseball game the day after he got out of the hospital. He seemed ok but tired, which I figured was because of the hospitalization. But he only urinated once that day, which I knew was a bad sign given his kidneys were already weak, and he was swelling up again so badly. the next day he had not strength. Could not sit up on his own. but he ate some, and was alert for a few hours. I STILL just thought it was tiredness from the ordeal. The next morning my mother screams and I run to their room - he was unconscious and gurgling. as soon as I saw him, I knew he was dying. We called an ambulance, and his blood sugar was very low - they got him to the ER and gave him sugar. All his labs were exactly the same as when we had left the hospital the first time- his kidney numbers were fine, bilirubin was fine, ammonia level was fine. Only albumin was very very low. they recommended just comfort care, which we agreed to. he died three days later.

I don't understand what happened. I don't understand how it could spiral so quickly. I am wracked with guilt that I did not try more that last morning. he had a very peaceful passing, but I still don't understand what happened, and why he died, when the numbers did not seem so bad. Can anyone please tell me how this all happens?

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