I am the caregiver for my husband. He is 44 years old. We have 2 children ages 13 and 15. He was diagnosed 4/25/05 after months of back pain and abdominal pain and cramps.
He had been dx adult onset diabetic 3 years ago and at first controled with diet. He lost about 70 pounds. strayed some from diet and gained some back. Unable to control with diet was put on meds. This was stable for quite sometime. Back pain has always been an issue with him and summer of 2004 MRI showed bulging discs. So when back pain came again we didn't think too much of it, except that it was higher and came through to his stomach. I suggested galbladder attacks. It was the ultra sound looking for galbladder trouble that led to the CT scan (3/31/05)that found the mass in the body of his pancreas. They then took the biopsy of one of the many spots on his liver to determine the cancer. (4/14/05) results were given 4/25/05, Stage IV with liver mets.
By this time he was shedding weight, had barely any appetite and was not able keep anything down or to put in a full day at work. Back rubs would ease the pain for a brief half hour then they would be back. At this time his sugar level was out of control in the 300's. Then it all added up after the diagnosis.
His first reaction was NO chemo, NO radiation. After the mild chemo was explained as the only option there was really no reason not to try it once anyway. The week of dx he was on so much anti nausea meds and vicodin that he barely functioned. He was zoned out most of the time he was awake. It was really scarey to see this happen so quickly. (we had just been on vacation in Florida two weeks before) Then came the job of telling family and friends. We had decided not to worry anyone until we knew for sure what was going on. It was very hard keeping it to ourselves. He says he already KNEW what the tests would tell.
After his first Gemzar treatment(5/5/05) we spent some time in the ER for dehydration. After his second treatment we went to doctor's office for hydration to avoid the ER trip. After this he felt good. back pain all but disappeared. His appetite was coming back. Along with some unusual cravings. This was not the same person I was caring for 2 weeks earlier. He was able to decrease and eventually stop taking all anti-nausea meds and vicodin. Still tired and weak but not sick all the time.
His wonderful friends took up donations for his first trip EVER to Las Vegas. Not only did they raise money for us but they took time off and joined us. Airfare, hotel, limo to airport, and daily allowance of gambling money. We traveled with a group of 25 close friends and family and all enjoyed watching him have the best time of his life. We had people join us from Ohio, California, Minnesota and Colorado. I don't know how they arranged it all but it was a wonderful 3 days, he felt great and to top it off won big. This was the first week in June.
For now he is feeling OK most days. feels best right after chemo and tries
to golf with buddies that day. He has accepted his fate more easily than the
rest of us have and enjoys every day the best he can. He was eligible for
dissablily from work so he took that option. He doesn't speak of not being
around next year and just says what will be will be. I wish I could be that
at ease with the situation but it just seems there is so much to do and no
motivation to get it done. I am still trying to work full time and of course
there are those teenagers.... Some days when he is feeling pretty good it's
hard to remember things aren't normal. We keep the faith and hope, hope, hope
for more time together.