Pancreas Cancer Web


My mother is a healthy 56 year old. She begin getting sick in October 2003. Finally deciding to go to the doctor in November, She was first diagnosed with hepatitis. After a few days of jaundice and itching, the results came back that it was not hepatitis. The doctor then did scans and was said to be gall stones. My mother was then scheduled to have her gall bladder removed within a few days. The nurse at my mothers' doctor, recommended a hospitol to go to, not trusting the one close by. My mother and father proceeded to go in thinking it was a gall bladder removal. The did more tests first. The doctor on call at the time in the emergency room did not actually even work at that hospitol. Thank God he was there, because he is the one whom found the tumor. Then waiting for a few days to find out if it was benign or malignant. She was diagnosed with andenocarcinoma on November 18, 2003. The tumor was about 2-3 cm in the head of the pancreas. After the intial shock wore off, we begin our search for a surgeon. My mother was not insured, therefore that was a big problem for all surgeons. We had many say they would perform the surgery then change their mind after finding out they were uninsured. Others' said they would do it with 50% down. The hunt continued for several weeks. Turn down after turn down, my sister and I felt no one cared or would ever help. They basically led us to believe that she could not live because she had no insurance. My sister and myself were tired, depressed, and very angry at the people not willing to help. Finally, my sister, e-mails a few surgeons, thinking 'what the heck' , What can it hurt'. She ran across this doctor in Dallas Tx. At first mom was not convinced this doctor was for real. Finally deciding to meet with him, she said she knew right away that he was going to save her life. A couple weeks later, surgery was scheduled for December 19, 2003. She went in for surgery around 11:30 and it was over around 3:00. The doctor was very positive about the tumor being gone. She was in the hospitol for 9 days. After returning home, she recovered quite well. She is now doing followup treatment at Moncrief Cancer Center in Ft. Worth Tx. She is still the fighter and intends to beat this beast.....


Alot has happened since my last update. My mother continued her radiation treatments 5 days a week. She finished those and then began Gemzar. She did Gemzar for several months until her tumor marker rose from 44 to 100. After two weeks of her tumor marker rising, her oncologist switched her to the GTX combo. My mom was so worried about doing that particular combo. She prepared herself for the loss of her hair and some other known side effects. So she went shopping for wigs, and began to actaully get used to them after a couple weeks.

Then on Wednesday Feb 9, 2005, she went for her normal treatment of GTX. She had been doing pretty well on it, and said she felt better than she had since this all started. Her hair was still there except thinning a little. Her treatments on those days lasted 4 hours. I looked forward to taking her on those days. I am a stay at home mom so it gave me the opportunity to get out of the house without kiddos and spend some time with mom.

For some reason that Wednesday, I decided to drop her off, having some things I needed to do. My sister picked her up and brought her home. She was doing well after the treatment. At about midnight that night, I got a call from my father saying that he thought mom had a stroke. I only live about 7 minutes from them, so I was there in a hurry.

She was laying on the floor and it was heartbreaking at the sight. But once I saw her alert and aware of what was going on around her, it put me at ease a little bit. She was careflighted to a hospitol where she was there for 5 days. The moment she was admitted they tried to give the medicine that reverses a stroke's side effects. Unfortunelty it did not work. We were still hopeful that she may be wheelchair bound and have normal brain activity. On the 5th day, the doctors said there was no hope. The brain function was to never return, nor would the movement of her right side or her speech.

We were still hopeful with therapy that she would come home one day. But the doctors said it was time to admit her to hospice. That was a very hard day, and very emotional meeting. She was admitting to a hospice facility where she was no longer awake. She never opened her eyes again the whole time my family was by her bedside for the remaining 7 days. She kept fighting the fight. I finally decided that it would be best to tell her goodbye and that it was OK to go. After telling her that, I left planning to return the next morning. I did not make it in time. She passed away on Feb 21, 2005 at 6:03 am. The reason of death was a catostrophic stroke caused by a blood clot in the main artery of the brain.

My mother was a fighter, and if God had not needed her when he did, she would still be here fighting the beast and WINNING.

I love you mom
Lisa in Tx Lisa in Tx

Posted 03/05/2004 10:21 pm by Lisa in Tx (mom)
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