Pancreas Cancer Web


My sister Donna was having severe pains in her stomach and back during the summer of 1999. We has just lost our Dad on June 28th 1999 to a different form of cancer and we all thought (including her primary physician) that the pain may be associated with the stress from our Dads passing. The pain continued and in August 1999 she was referred to Georgetown University Medical Center to undergo tests. A laproscotomy was performed within a week and tissue samples were taken. No evidence of anything unusual was found including pancreatic cancer. Previous scans and a MRI did not reveal anything out of the ordinary either. 2 weeks later (appx 3rd week of August) a needle biopsy was performed which did reveal that she had pancreatic cancer. An attempt at a whipple procedure was performed on Sept. 2nd 1999. Upon operating, it was apparent that the cancer has spread to her liver (but not to any other organs). The doctors decided that there was nothing else that could be surgically done and elected not to do the whipple. A few weeks later, she participated in a drug trial for Avacine. It was administered without chemo. Things seemed to be holding steady for the next 4-6 weeks, but by the time Thanksgiving arrived, she was showing signs of the disease progressing. In just one week, her health deteriorated and she was hospitalized on Dec. 7th @ Georgetown. By this time, she could have weighed no more than 80-90 pounds, but had massive fluid retention that placed her weight around 180#. On Dec. 19th, 1999, after being comatose for 2 days, she passed away at 9:40 am at the age of 40. After watching how cruel this disease is and learning what little can be done about it, I intend to continue Donnas fight against pancreatic cancer till my very last breath. I love you Donna and think about you every day. I will miss you always.

Posted 12/25/2000 09:50 pm by Matt White (brother)
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