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Pancreas Cancer

Husband was posted 05/31/1999 11:26 pm by Carolyn
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I have been checking this site for almost ten months now but never posted before. My husband Bill who just turned 49 in April was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in June of 1998. His was inoperable due to lymph node and vein involvement but no mets to the liver. He was taking chemo of Gemzar and 5FU for three weeks on and one week off. He is a school teacher and was able to work the entire time. His tumor actually got considerably smaller until his CAT scan in February showed the tumor had increased slightly and there was one lesion in the liver. He had a new procedure done at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia called a RITA procedure. I forget what it stands for but they go into the liver with a scope and probe and literally burn the lesion along with some surrounding area so the lesion is actually gone. This was done on a Friday on a outpatient basis and he returned to work the following Monday. Before he was started back on a different chemo treatment they did a few more tests which showed the tumor in the pancreas has extended into the duodenum. He was started on Hycamtin along with 5FU which is a combination that is apparently being used in a trial at Jefferson. After his first treatment he developed a fever of 103.5 and was admitted to the hospital. They discovered the fever was not from the chemo but from a gastrointestinal virus. He came home with a "pick" in his arm so I could give him antibiotic infusions at home. He received his latest chemo treatment last Friday and tolerated it with no problems but since his fever he has been experiencing abdominal pain. He was given oral pain medication which he takes as needed but his spirits seem to be breaking. I believe that his upbeat attitude along with prayer has helped to keep him going. Now sometimes when he is in pain he becomes very emotional and crys not from the pain from fear of what it means. I find this very difficult to deal with when I am trying so hard to stay strong. We have an appointment with his oncologist at Jefferson tomorrow and he is so afraid of what they are going to tell him. He occasionally takes Zanex for anxiety but refuses to take anti-depressents. I know this sounds selfish but I am not only afraid for him but also for me. He is so dependent upon me that I am beginning to feel as if the weight of his dependency is too much. I don't know how I am going to handle things if and when things start taking a turn for the worse which I think it has. Sorry for being so lengthy but I guess I just needed to vent. I have learned so much from all of your postings, some of which I may not have liked to read about but gained a wealth of information from. I would also like to say even though I have not posted before I have been praying for each and everyone of you and your families. Carolyn

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