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Pancreas Cancer

Still alive was posted 05/31/2000 03:45 pm by Paul Lester
E-mail Address: pdleyes@e-z.net

Message Text
Hello Jim - welcome to "the board". You can read my bio on this site, but the long and short of it is that I had a Whipple at age 46 in Mar 99 followed by chemo and radiation. I'm 14 months out and doing fine. Your tumor was small and clean margins are a good thing. Radiation therapy is designed to wipe out any remaining nmicroscopic traces in the "bed" and the chemo helps it work better - or so they told me. Side effects of radiation differ from person to person. I tolerated it well - some nausea, but that can be controlled with meds - after trying several Zofran worked best for me. Don't know if nausea was radiation induced or chemo - I was on 24 hr constant infusion the whole time - but my guess is that after having my insides microwaved that the nausea came from that. I was fatigued, but again could have been chemo. One thing my radiation oncologist did do was to target the bed from the front and sides and not the back (3 fields instead of 4). He did this to protect my spine and kidneys - you might want to talk to you radiation oncologist about that. Because of some back pain that is probably related to bowel scarring post Whipple, I had an MRI of my spine last month. It showed only a trace of calcium breakdown that radiation can cause so I think it is worth having them go with 3 instead of 4 fields. If you tolerate the regime, they will probably "boost" you beyond treatment dosage at the end. In that phase, he went to 2 fields - front and back, but no big deal. Most important thing - you ARE already a survivor. I firmly believe in making the choice to live. SOMEBODY has to make up the statistical percentage of those who survive this thing and I, for one, intend to be in that group. One thing is for certain, your life has changed and you will never look at anything the same again and that can be a real positive. So, hang in there, my friend. You have looked this beast in the eye and kicked its ***. Now, its up to you. In the words of the surgeon who gave me life back "go home to live, not to die". Never give up, never give in and NEVER lose hope.

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*DISCLAIMER: This page is an unmoderated forum, and the opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Patients are advised to consult their personal physicians before making any medical decisions.
FULL DISCLAIMER


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