Pancreas Cancer Web

ANNE D. (Bill's youngest daugh

My mom and dad have were always fortunate to have their health and be able to enjoy their retirement. They were very active, and volunteered with several organizations. During the winter of 97, my mom became ill with what we thought was a reoccuring flu. After several months and tests that diagnosed everything from emphazema to asthma, we took her to the Cleveland Clinic and they diagnosed lung cancer. Guess because my mom was not a smoker, others had overlooked this possibility. She had a really rough year, and my dad was wonderful and was the sole caretaker for her. It was exceptionally hard on him watching her suffer so and not being able to do a thing about it. Anyway, in late spring of 98 my dad starting not feeling well, had blood in stool, tired alot and a constant belly ache. We all chalked it up to stress and weren't too concerned. He had a cat scan and blood work here locally, and the doc found cancer of the duedeum, maybe into the pancreas and liver. They gave us no chance for him. We were all devastated and weren't quite sure what to do, as my mom was on her death bed. Well, she must have realized we couldn't care for both her and him, and she slipped peacefully away on June 4. The funeral was on Sunday, and on Tuesday we were up at Cleveland University Hospital to see a surgeon, who told us about the whipple. Gave us some hope. Didn't know if my dad would go for it, didn't know if he could survive -(he was 76 with a heart condition). He gave the go ahead, and he had whipple surgery on July 5. He was in the hospital for a month, recovery was slow, mostly due to emotional stress I think, as he was still grieving for my mom so much. They had been married 54 years. Anyway, he came home, we got visiting home nurse care, and took turns taking shifts to take care of him. My one brother who is single moved back in with him so he could be there overnight, and the rest of us went in each day to relieve him. Wouldn't eat at first, nothing tasted right, went from 230 to 180. In sept. he decided that his school teacher kids needed to get back to work and got up and started trying again. Was driving by Oct. and doing fantastic. Back on his own again, cooking for himself, eatting everything, and starting to recover from the loss of his better half. He didn't recieve chemo or radiation as the onc decided that it wasn't worth the risk. He was put on zoloft and that really seemed to help things. His last check up with onc in Feb. showed no sign of cancer. Everything looks great. He doesn't even take enzymes. Don't know what the future holds, but for now, there is hope. If my dad can make it through this thing, given the circumstances that he had to fight it alone, (well, he does have us 4 kids!) anyone can! That is our story for now. I hope it continues to have a happy ending! Anne

Posted 03/14/1999 11:32 pm by Anne D.
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