Pancreas Cancer Web


Hi there; I'm Terry. I had been losing weight for about a year and my energy levels had also been very low from my usual busy, high energy self. I attibuted this to the fact that I had not been getting a lot of sleep and the fact that I felt pretty stressed in lauching a new business. Hey being an entreprenure, itself, marks you as a different breed of person: you know, long, long, hours with business always on your mind, etc. Anyway, I had been going to this Doctor and he really didn't have many answers for me. We took all the standard blood tests; I'd show up, again, and again and kept telling him that I was sick....something was wrong. I'd lose some weight; then plateau; lose some more; then plateau but I was constantly tired. Being in a relationship, going the wrong way, didn't help either. Finally, in Aug. 99 I suggested he test my blood/sugar; sure enough, I was Type II Diabetic. Now, it's off to the diabetic educator, Diabetic Specialist, Dietician; the works. I started taking 5 mg of Glucotrol every morning and my B/S numbers would yo-yo depending upon what I ate; the exercise I had, etc. Now, my energy began to ebb even more and so did the weight. The Specialist told me the weight loss was because of the medication I was on and the fact that my B/S numbers were often around 180-220; up/down...all over the place. About March, 2000, I started to have pains in my upper right abdomen right after eating and many times they would radiate completely around to my spine on both sides. It was like my kidneys were on fire and it would last for up to 2 1/2 hours, or so. I began taking Ibuprofen to quell the pains. Kept seeing the Specialist regularly and phoning a lot to complain about the pain, etc. About mid May, 2000, my B/S numbers, really magically, started to improve; I was like a non-diabetic; but I started to have loose stools and my urine began getting darker. Pains kept getting worse and the Specialist ordered a chest x-ray, which I took during the Memorial Dayweekend (I'm a smoker); it is clean. I kept complaining about my pain; it is so severe I can't sleep lying down. So, I started sleeping propped up. June, the pains increased and now I am taking Tylenol 3 w/codeine. By the end of June, the pains are unbearable; Specialist sends me to have an Ultrasound of my Gall Bladder; it shows a 1" dia. stone sitting on top of my 12mm dialated bile duct. I began turning yellow; urine is very dark, and the Specialist sent me to a Gastroenterologist. The Gastroenterologist did an Endoscopy the first week of July, 2000. He noticed a constriction (from something outside) of my common bile duct; did a brushing for cancer cells within the duct (it's clean), but he placed a temporary stent in to drain the bile sludge out of my Gall Bladder He also ordered a CT scan which revealed a 4-5 cm tumor at the head of my pancreas and told me on July 6 that I have PC. He also sent me to a local General Surgeon who told me he wanted to "go in", have a look around and proceed with a Whipple operation (if it looked possible) while he was in there. I ask for a second opinion. When I arrived at the Univ. of Wisconsin Medical Center about July 11, the tumor committee reviewed my films, etc., and told me I had an inoperative 4-5 cm. tumor that totally engulfed the S.M.A. (major artery). I returned on July 25 and they recommended a simultaneous Chemo/radiation program. 24 hr./7 day a week, slow, pump infusion of 5/Fu for six (6) weeks while they give me radiation 5 days a week for 5 weeks. The intent is to reduce the tumor to operable size, but they told me there was only a 15% chance that the tumor could ever be reduced to an operable size and condition. I decided to try an alternative therapy program, first. It involved major dietary changes coupled with a strict, high daily dose of various vitamins/minerals/supplements. I only weighed 150 lbs. and I felt the conventional chemo/radiation treatment would only waste me away. They agreed with my decision. On August 18, a new CT scan at the U of W revealed my tumor had only grown to 5.8 cm. in the previous 6 weeks; they were surprised it had not grown more, and they said they could offer no better results with Chemo. There was no evidence the cancer had spread anywhere; even to my local lymph nodes. So, they told me to keep doing what I was doing, and come back in 6 more weeks for another CT scan. They told me I could always start Chemo later and that we could do a biopsy then. I still have not had a biopsy. Now, it is Aug. 25th and I am going to start a new alternative program developed by Fred Eichhorn. It looks like a better vitamin/mineral/supplement program that I had created, and other people have achieved some pretty good results. I know that I must maintain a very positive mental attitude and I have to work on that; sometimes I need encouragement. My weight is starting to improve because I just started taking Pancreas Enzyme pills to help with my digestion; I need all the value I can get out of the food that I am eating. I have also stopped taking my Diabetic medication. I have found a new Primary Care Physician that I like; he believes in integrating Alternative, Comprehensive, and Conventional medicine and he is really trying to work with me; he cares, he's cool, and I literally had to force him to take me as a patient; poor soul. His practice was "closed" to new patients; but I ambushed him in his waiting room. He didn't have a chance. My goals are to shrink my tumor "naturally" to about 3 cm in the next 5 weeks; try to get my weight up 8 pounds; stop worrying (haha) about business; to enjoy life to the fullest; and to make the Doc's choke on their original prognosis. .....Right, Fred?

Posted 08/26/2000 04:43 am by Terry
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