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If you can believe it, my situation is a little reminiscent of yours. My mother passed from PC in the tail 5 years ago. Her symptoms were non-specific before it was discovered... mostly fatigue, depression. No weight loss, pain, or decreased appetite. Her cancer was already spread everywhere by the time it was discovered...... A couple years after she passed, my father was found to have pancreatic cysts (IPMNs) that are now being followed with scans/biopsy attempts yearly. We just checked his CA19-9 and are waiting for the results....
It is utterly surreal. And a bit cruel to imagine.
One good thing about your Mom... it is a miracle they found this 'growth' so early, as small growths or cancers in the tail are not usually found early because they have fewer symptoms. So while the thought of a big surgery is just....awful..... the likelihood is very very high that she will be cured, without having long term problems that people who have Whipples have.
And what if they remove it, and it's not PC? Well, THAT is fabulous too.
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