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We are the daughters of Edna O'Neal Pease, our Mom we lost a mere five weeks after her pc dx. It began on a Sat. in Jan. when Winnie noticed that Mom looked a little yellow. On Monday the dr. admitted her to the hospital, in isolation, until they could determine the cause. She spent almost a week there until the ERCP was done and bile duct blockage found, and the stent was inserted. The day before her discharge our Dad said he'd heard the word "cancer" but they did not want to do a bioposy so did a CT scan. Mom came home and was to see her gastro. dr. Now, our Mom was not in great shape before all this, age 68, had emphysema and was on oxygen (former long time smoker), and had hypoglycemia so knew what she could/could not eat, but this only slowed her down. This mention of cancer was totally unexpected. The visit with the gastr. dr. was like something out of a movie, with the dr. saying to us, "This part I dread about being a dr.; your Mom has pc and there is nothing we can do except keep her comfortable." He did recommend an oncologist, as he thought there was chemo to help with anticipated pain. It took us a week to see the onco., then he would do nothing for another week since he wanted to see all her x-rays, etc. for a certain dx. This dr. was older and gentle but not very talkative. By time time of the next appt. Winnie and I had found this site and knew about the gemzar, which she started. This first gemzar totally wiped her out; we had to take her back the next day because she was dehydrated and they gave her an i.v. After that she slept a few days. Little pain had started but we assured her it would be managed. Week two of gemzar kept her sleeping and weak again. By week three Mom was a different person--no appetite, very uncomfortable, swollen ankles and abdomen. Mom's sister from Fla. came to visit and stayed. We got a home nurse, mainly for company, as during this time our Dad was recovering from triple by-pass surgery. I had a heart to heart talk with a good friend who is a nurse, and knew my Mom, and she said it would not be long, 4-6 weeks...We had several big family dinners. There was to be no week 3 of gemzar, her blood count was too low. The onco. nurse noticed Mom's pain and confusion; that's when I pulled her aside and asked, "Is this helping??" Right then it was decided no more gemzar. She was given a shot and prescriptions for pain. On Sat. other family visited her from out of town. During that nite Dad called us as she was in bad pain. We got a pain pill down her and that helped. Sunday old friends visited. Sunday during the nite Dad called again and she was in more pain. Before we got there EMTs were taking her to the hosp., she had a DNR. We followed, and Mom passed away shortly after arrival. We would have liked to had hospice more involved but there was not time. It was a terrible few weeks, but we knew it could have lingered, and now Mom was free of pain. She absolutely hated the fact that we/others had to do so much for her; she was so weak. She just did not have the fight left in her. She was one hell of a Mom and an even greater Grandma, and we miss her like crazy. (sorry this turned out so long)

Posted 11/02/1998 10:59 am by Ellen and Winnie
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