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JANICE, STEVEN'S WIFE


My 41 year old husband, Steven, was diagnosed with locally advanced pancreatic cancer July 28, 1998. He is in a clinical trial with combined Gemzar and radiation which began September 14, 1998. His weight at the beginning of this was 220 lbs. When he started the clincal trial he weighed 158 lbs. He started complaining of abdominal pain in March 1998. On April 16 he visited our GP whose diagnosis was ulcers (weight 220 lbs). Two weeks later my husband was in such pain that they did a CAT scan. They told us that his pancreas looked inflamed so our GP sent us to a group of gastroenterologists. After numerous tests; upper endoscopy, ERCP, CAT scan w/dye, and finally an endoscopic ultrasound w/FNA, the gasto drs determined that he had pancreatitis because the biopsy came back negative. After the endoscopic ultrasound w/FNA he was in so much pain that they kept him in the hospital. They decided to do IV feeding and he was in hospital from June 2 until June 12. They sent him home with an IV homecare pack and we had a visiting nurse check on him 2 times a week. This lasted unitl June 23 and the IV feedings were discontinued. ( During this time he was in alot of pain and was switched to numerous pain meds; Vicodin, Ultram, Duract, Hydrocodone/APAP, MS Contin, Propoxy-N/APAP, and Fentanyl transdermal patches.) The gastro drs said the whole pancreas had to come out. They also didn't do much for Steven's constipation which was severe. Three and four days went by without a bowel movement. If we called and complained they would prescribe Golytely, which it wasn't. Our GP finally wrote a scrip for Lactulose and once we determined the right dosage per day worked great with this problem. We decided to get a second opinion and went to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center where we saw Dr. Brennan on June 19. Dr. Brennan said that the pancreas was so inflamed that he couldn't do anything at that point. He scheduled an appointment to see Steven again in 3 weeks. He also told us to continue with the gastro drs and the IV feedings and to see a pain specialist. The pain specialists tried Oxycodone, Oxycontin, and then Methadone. Once Steven was on Methadone his back pain went away and he has bee


Posted 11/11/1998 07:49 pm by janice
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