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This bio is for my husband, the late Henry Young...He was 61 at time of his death to what was believed to pancreatic cancer. I must say "believed" because at present, I still have not been convinced that he truly had pancreatic cancer, or if it truly were so, that at time of earlier diagnosis, ampullary carcinoma, that he could still be here with us. He began in July of 1998 complaining of nausea and trapped gas. Since he was an avid beer drinker and smoker for years, I only thought he needed to perhaps stop drinking so much and quit smoking. Little did I realize that this annoying malady was the beginning of the end for him. And little did I realize that pc was so incredibly difficult to diagnose. Henry had began to lose weight simultaneously with these benign symptoms, and I still believed it was a result of poor eating habits and too much overtime at work. Once he saw the first doctor, a total of 17lbs had been lost in a little over two months by August. His eyes had began to yellow which did panic me. It was then that I literally put him into the car and rushed him to the primary care provider, who set him up for an ultrasound and later a cat scan of the abdomen. Nothing conclusive was found but massively dilated bile ducts which led doctors to suspect ampullary carcinoma. Of course, I was horrified about the carcinoma, immediately knowing what it meant, but was unfamiliar with ampullary. We called the pcp who then retorted it was a liver tumor...well ampullary for the unfamiliar is the opening of the duodenum or small intestine. Because the doctor was so uncaring and hesitated to treat Henry immediately, we tried an acupuncturist, unwittingly, to get rid of the jaundice. Bad idea!!! The bilirubins skyrocketed after a month of worthless tea and acupuncture. Even this doctor referred us back to the HMOs because he couldn't diagnose Henry properly. To make a horrible story shorter, Henry kept losing weight into October and in November began to run a temperature. He was down to 102lbs from a healthy 151 from the spring. He was given an ERCP on November 20, and that's when the endoscopist confirmed verbally what he saw was a mass at the head of the pancreas, yet after reading the ERCP report, no mass was reported, just "beliefs." So, you see, we were frustrated and very confused. His new primary care provider only offered a hospice for what still was believed to be pc...and no offers of clinical trials...didn't think it would work, she said...well, I researched and submitted all medical reports to whomever as advised by newfound friends from PANCAN, a pancreatic cancer group founded by Pam Acosta, who lost her mother to pc. To end this story, Henry, on January 30, 1999 was rushed to Methodist Hospital in Arcadia, sent the following day by the attending doctor to a skilled nursing facility who was not equipped to help him. He was then regurgitating bile. At my insistence he was sent to City of Hope to get a real diagnosis and possible treatment, but after too much delay and too much weakness, Henry succumbed to his illness on February 4, 1999 leaving all of his family and many friends much saddened...I'll never forget my husband's valiant struggle and hope that whoever reads this post will be made aware of how important it is to followup with doctors and do not be afraid to challenge anything that is not understandable and most of all, DO NOT WAIT...&SUBMIT=Click ONCE to Post Message

Posted 02/28/1999 01:51 am by ANDREA
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