Pancreas Cancer Web


This is about my dad Marshall who was finally diagnosed Dec 04. He became sick in June 04, jaundiced & drs thought he had gallstones. He was sent to another hospital in Roanoake, Va for an ERCP & a surgeon was brought in because no gallstones were seen. He had an exploratory lap w/billiary bypass (even though we didn't even know it was called that until he went to Baptist Hospital in Sept 04) & we all thought YES, now he will get well. He is 74 yrs old and never really had any major illness & he even was working up until Oct 04 as a bank courier driving 200 miles plus 5 x a week. His Drs were amazed at that; I think it kept him going. Once he had the surgery in June, he did get some better, eating habits TOTALLY changed, food smells bothered him really bad & lost 40lbs. His surgeon in Roanoke never told him he had a tumor around his mesenteric artery; that we heard from Dr Cameron @ Johns Hopkins Nov 1, 04. To be fair to the surgeon he did tell my dad he wanted to send him to JHU or Duke but my Dad said to wait, he wanted to see if he could get to feeling better. He did go to Baptist in Sept & a Dr Levine there told him it could be pancreatitis or cancer & if it were him he would just wait & in a few months he would know if it was cancer. So we waited like a bunch of idiots & finally looked at each other & said this is stupid so we started on getting him up to JHU. Well that took about 3 weeks at least, Dr Levines office didn't send the records, we didn't know that, they finally sent a CT disk w/only my dads name, etc. So that was all a bunch of crap to deal with. Finally we got the appt @ JHU & Dr Cameron was very nice but after him doing his own CT Scan he said he couldn't do surgery so that was a HUGE letdown. I guess the guy in Roanoke did all he could do in June but all that time went by when he could have had a biopsy already & started treatment before he got worse. So we got him to Duke for a biopsy & yes it is a 3cm mucinous adenocarcinoma affecting the mesenteric artery. My dad is up to his 12th radiation treatment, can't take radiation because he was diagnosed w/low platelets about 4 yrs ago (IDP) & no, steroids & platelet transfusions cant be done per his Drs. The radiation seems like it is really hurting him alot, has diarrhea extremely bad & now weighs 132. He doesn't want to eat much or drink, he does drink ensure & boost but now I am finding out that could be causing the diarrhea because of high sugar content, who knows? I live 70 miles from my parents & have my own family so it is hard not being there. I do have 3 sisters there who are worth their weight in gold for all they do, they do it all for them. My mother is manic/depressive which is controlled w/meds but they constantly need adjusting & has been that way for years. Since my Dad has become sick she has done remarkably well. She can be hard to take @ times, she & I have always butted heads. I know it is hard for her. My dad is being treated at a local hospital in Martinsville, Va. The Drs are all from Duke which is good. Some are nice & really easy to talk to, others not so easy to deal with. We really like Dr Kirkpatrick. Anyway that's his story and I may add to it later.

Posted 01/03/2005 10:44 pm by CathyNC
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