A little about us.
We live in Texas and my wife and I are 41. We have three kids (2 boys-16 and 12, and a girl-7 YO). They are all active in Scouts, sports, and school, as is my wife and I.
About two months ago, my wife started complaining about a pain in her upper abdomen. She went to the dr. ~ a month ago and they ruled out gallbladder, ulcers, etc., the usual. They then did a sonogram and decided then and there to biopsy the pancreas. First gut punch!
Well, since then, you can guess the rest...
What a rollercoaster! Here's the gory details:
* Performed an upper GI to be sure it hadn't spread to stomach (it hasn't. Yeah!). * Oncologist wanted an CAT scan performed, prior to surgery for Whipple. * Surgeon sees spots on liver. May have spread (2nd gut punch) * Oncologist not so sure. Orders MRI. * MRI performed. Two radiologists think it hasn't spread. (Yeah!) * Oncologist can't see pancreas clearly. Orders 2nd MRI. * MRI shows pc has spread to liver. (3rd gut punch). * My wife goes in for biopsy of liver yesterday. Waiting for results.
Don't mean to bog everyone down in details, but I'm sure everyone here has wondered the same thing:
Why her and why us and why now?!
I've done more reading about pc than I ever thought I would ever need to know.
What I have learned is, basically, that stuff happens. My wife is not male, over 55, a heavy drinker, or a heavy smoker (the likely victim of pc, from what I've read).
She also is not 71 (the avg. age of someone undergoing the whipple).
Finally, the info on the 'Net (a double-edged sword, BTW) states that pc RARELY hits anyone under 40! She's 41, as I stated.
Not asking for any theological or religious explanations. Just nice to know that there are some online shoulders to lean on.
The American Cancer Society webpage has been great, as has this list. We ordered the 'CareGiving' book from the ACS and it is HIGHLY recommended for anyone expecting to be a caregiver.
We are bracing ourselves for chemo/radiation and, at least, she is young, healthy, and they, hopefully, have caught it early.
I guess my main gripe is the wrench this throws into everything. (I know! That's why they call it, 'LIFE'.) Growing old together, watching our kids graduate, watch them get married and have our grandkids (in that order!) travel together, etc.
Everything is now in doubt by some damn thing she, 'statistically', shouldn't have.
How has everyone here coped, handled the highs and lows, and what tidbits of info and advice can you offer?
Thanks to all of you in advance and to Johns Hopkins for providing this chat board.
Mark in TX.
(Mucking it thru, one day at a time!)