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Pancreas Cancer

straight talk please was posted 12/31/1997 02:08 am by Shoshana
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I hope to be in an emotional place soon to be able to respond to some of you rather than only asking for myself. For now, however, I want to thank all of you who have written in support. I have some questions which I hope you will be able to answer. Morgan, my husband, is presently in the hospital still. His impacted intestines are not responding well to repeat enemas. Every time they try to give him solid, even soft solids, he gets gas and pain. Another x-ray today showed there was still impacted stool high in the large intestine, near the juncture with the small bowel on the left, and lots of gas in the lower right part of the gut which is going nowhere. The C-T scan showed that the pancreatic tumor had "threads" extending into the mesentery, and that the tumor was pressing on the ilium. No one will say anything, but I am wondering at this point if we are facing circulatory insufficiency to the mesentery. Has anyone else dealt with this problem? The more serious question though is again about something that I don't feel I am getting straight answers for. One month ago roughly, on November 27th, he was recovering from inguinal hernia surgery. On that date he had his two week surgical follow up. He was having moderate back pain, but there were sufficient spasms in the back to warrant a diagnosis of muscle strain. His surgery was healing well, and he looked awfully good. He has always been thin since he is a runner, and at that time he weighed 140 pounds. He is 5'10". Here, less than a month later, his back pain (presumably from the tumor at T-11) is so severe he is on morphine round the clock, and while in the hospital has mostly been on the pump. He weighs about 125 pounds. Even before the impaction, he increasingly was unable to eat any food requiring chewing and stated he simply did and does not now have an appetite. He is tired all the time. The docs are giving him radiation for the back, starting tomorrow, with the intention of reducing pain. And he starts Gemsar chemo on Friday, again with apparently the hope of slowing or halting tumor growth in the pancreas. I am terrified, because of the speed at which this thing seems to be progressing. Is this normal for pancreatic cancer? Do any of you know of someone who was slipping so rapidly and experienced any slow up as a result of chemo/radiation? Can anyone give me an idea of what kind of time frame we are realistically facing? The oncologist refuses to give a time beyond saying "a few weeks to a few months". Is it time for us to get power of attorney, set affairs in order, etc.? Sorry to be so wordy. I feel like someone just flew a 747 through my living room, and before I had time to pick up the mess, another one came along.

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*DISCLAIMER: This page is an unmoderated forum, and the opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Patients are advised to consult their personal physicians before making any medical decisions.
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