Pancreas Cancer Web


I am posting this message re: my Mother, a 79y/o,C/F, diagnosed with Stage 4 Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma, December 1, 2004. My Mother is a very spiritually fit and strong woman who never, ever drank alcohol or smoked. She is a perfectionist and has always been very quiet, and retiring, but a dynamo behind the scenes. Her PMH includes sigmoid resection for adenocarcinoma 26 years ago, with no chemo nor radiation. Surgeon felt that the resection was adequate. Four surgeries for placement of shunt due to hydrocephalus, 1 for evacuation of a subdural hematoma; open reduction of a R hip FX in 2001; total hip replacement two months later, all preceeded by 3 C-sections. The small town in which she lives, Tenaha, Texas, seems to be in one of the counties in Texas with the most cases of Ca, although there is no one type more prevalent than others. Children have Osteo; YOUNG women with Breast Ca; ALL and CML; Multiple Myeloma; three recent cases of Pancreatic,(one atypical), most men over 40 have prostatic Ca. Numerous cases, but not a cluster that could be studied.

My Mother is a very frail 83# and is not a candidate, of course, for surgery, Chemo/Radiation, and declined Chemo. She is being treated with Tarceva 100 mg per day, Fentyl patch 50 q 3days, Roxycodone 1-2 q 3 hours PRN pain, Megace 20cc's q day, and Potassium 10cc's q day. Pain management seems to be the most that we can do for her. Her appetite is terrible, we have tried all sorts of supplements, Boost, Ensure, Boost Breeze, crackers and peanut butter, cheese, but she states that nothing tastes the same as before. ( I am sure that others have had this occur with their patients, seems to be the nature of the beast)

I am a Registered Nurse Practitioner, Women's Health Care, and know enough to scare the pants off of me, but want to give the best care and love that I can without going overboard. The time frame with or without treatment seems to be 6-12 months for stage 4, with Chemo or Tarceva only extending life expectancy another month or so. So far we are not dealing with Hospice or even home health at this time, just me, which is ok for now, but won't be as time progresses, I fear.

I guess I am just posting to hear myself talk about this. Mother's TBil on Jan 3 was 12.9, her AlkP was 1100. Last chemistries on 1-25 were TBil 2, and AlkP 217. She is very weak and actually cachetic in appearance, any advice on boosting her appetite would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance and thank you for listening.

Linda A

Posted 01/30/2005 08:54 pm by Linda A
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