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LYNN'S MOM


This is my Mom's bio. My Mom is 75 years old and was diagnosed in Dec. '02 with adenocarcinoma of the pancreas. My Mom had always been healthy except for rheumatoid arthritis which she has had for the past 10 years and which she has taken pretty heavy medications for. My father was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma of the lungs in Jan. '00 and passed away in Oct. '01. My Mom had enormous stress taking care of my DAd as she so willingly did. When my Dad was sick and after he died my Mom was losing weight (as of now she has lost about 45 lbs.) which we all attributed to the stress and loss of my Dad. They were so close and did everything together. She also seemed to have no energy but this we attributed to the loss of my Dad and her rheumatoid arthritis. In Dec. she started to feel very nauseous and had the chills and I also noticed she looked a little yellow (or was I just imagining it??). Well, I had to leave for a few days out of town for work and when I returned home she still was not feeling well and she thought she may have a bladder infection. She was having rust colored urine and light colored stools. I went to pick her up the next day to have a lab test to check for bladder infection at the suggestion of her physician whom I had called. WELL, she was definitely YELLOW now....no question about it. I brought her to the E.R. quite frankly against her will. At first they thought maybe she had picked up hepatitis somehow. But after they did a CT scan it showed a mass blocking her biliary duct which was causing the jauncice. She had no adrenal or liver mass and kidneys looked satisfactory. She had no abdominal paraaortic adenopathy or ascites and no pelvic mass or lymphadenopathy. What I think is kind of strange is that she had blood work done just 2 wks prior because of her meds she is on for the rheumatoid arthritis and nothing showed up. Well, anyway the next day they put a temporary stent in which helped the jaundice. And they scoped and took a biopsy. We had results of the adenocarcinoma the next day. Diagnosis was 'invasive poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma'. She had a 3mm mass in the head of the pancreas. It had invaded the small bowel. Her G.I. doctor really felt surgery was not an option for her because of her age and because she had already lost so much weight. I don't know.......maybe we should have gotten a second opinion. Although, we did talk with an oncologist and he also felt surgery would not be appropriate. My Mom wanted no chemo and I had to respect her decision. After seeing what my Dad went through with the chemo for his lung cancer and how it didn't do much for him except decrease the quality of his life she made the no chemo. decision. One month after the temp. stent she began to get nauseous and jaundice again so she went back to have a permanent stent put in. Our question on this was 'why didn't they put a permanent one in the first place.' Now I know why and that is because they have to be measured for size and ordered and then a sales rep. goes into surgery with the docter and tells them how to do it or such. It amazes me how all that can be done with that scope. Anyway, as far as pain goes, she has not had much pain except slight pain in her back. She also has an excellent appetite although doesn't like to eat alot because it seems to go right through her. She has alot of bowel movements which is really tiring her out at night when she is trying to get her sleep. She said it isn't like diarhhea but sometimes she can't make it to the bathroom because it comes on so quick. After questioning people on this site it sounds like she may need to be taking some pancreatic enzymes. We are checking with the docs on that. Anyway, it had been about four months since her diagnosis and not much happening with her except for the bowel movement problem and she also is very tired and quite weak. Oh, she also has been getting some foot and ankle swelling the past week. And she has had some very low BP readings....like 84/46......scary huh. Although, the BP goes up a little with the more swelling of the feet. We have a hospice nurse that comes in once a week to check on her. I do what I can for her as she is not ready for outside help. I guess it is good for her to keep doing as much as she can around the house. I don't like her going up and down the stairs but she says she is careful and I guess as long as she feels she can do it; its ok. I am so grateful she has no pain and I pray she will continue without it. My Mom is a wonderful lady and we can only take it day by day and enjoy what we can in each moment. She has taken this all so well, but I know she misses my Dad terribly. Even though she loves all her children and grandchildren very much I know she is looking forward to seeing my Dad again in Heaven.


Posted 04/24/2003 09:40 pm by lynn
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