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Pancreas Cancer

symptoms was posted 12/29/2016 04:58 pm by Anonymous
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I'm sorry to hear about your Mom.

One thing that might be helpful.... Gastroparesis (slow stomach emptying) is a symptom of pancreatic cancer. When the stomach empties slowly, you can have symptoms like your Mom of fullness, nausea (often worse with eating), decreased appetite and weight loss, and sometimes more symptoms (including pain, reflux, burping). To help these symptoms, ask the doctor for better nausea medicines and think about taking them every day to try to prevent the nausea rather than waiting until it is there (which is then harder to reverse). Also, the medicine reglan is often given for nausea, and it can specifically improve the symptoms of gastroparesis. Ask the doctor if she can keep this medicine at home.

Reglan works best when you take it 4 times a day - 20-30 minutes before meals and before bed. 10mg is the standard dose.

My Mom had bad gastroparesis. She took Zofran every morning, and more as needed for nausea. She also took Reglan 10mg four times a day, and when she had reflux with her symptoms she took a PPI called omeprazole. They all really helped.

It can be very hard to predict prognosis, as it can vary from person to person. Palliative Care can improve life span. Does she have an actually Palliative Care doctor helping? If so, they can sometimes give you an idea.

Prognosis is sometimes given in weeks to months for someone your Mom's age, but some live longer.

Often it will not be the disease itself that leads to a downturn, but other disease/processes that can affect the body when the immune system is weak and the cancer is progressing. For example, my Mom died from an infection/pneumonia that spread quickly. One day she was talking, and eating normal meals, although she was weak and walking less and less. The next day she passed.

Also, don't be shy about asking the doctor for medication for mood/sleep/depression. Depression is actually a symptom of pancreatic cancer, and should be treated just as aggressively as pain. Treating it will improve eating, sleeping, energy and obviously... her mood. Let her know this is part of the disease, in case she tries to brush off this symptom.

Make the most of this time, if you can. Ask her all the stories, take pictures, record her voice, reminisce, have friends write and call, have grandkids visit, and continue to ask her advice... because she needs to keep being your Mom, and to know you need her.

We'll be thinking about you and your Mom.

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