Pancreas Cancer Web


Irv turned 79 on April 10th and was diagnosed with pc on April 28,99. He is the youngest and only survivor of 11 children. There is no cancer in his family and his mom, grandma, lived to be 96. He has 5 children, 23 grandchildren, who live mostly in the Chicagoland area, while he lives with mom in southern Wisconsin. I on the other hand am the yougest of the 5, live in Atlanta, and have 7 children of my own. By the time dad was diagnosed he had lost 20 pounds, was extremely jaundiced, itching, and in pain. He, being the strong German, the head of the family, tried hard to keep his illness from the family (probably didn't want to worry us over nothing), but we could tell something was wrong from the saddness in his eyes and from the way he would sit in his favorite chair all curled up holding his stomach or head. I first saw these signs in December but stupidly said and did nothing. The first dr felt he was a good candidate for surgery but he needed a CT and some blood tests. Our hopes were high! The next day we saw the drs. again and the CT showed mets. to the liver and small intestine. The CA 19-9 was in the 300's. No hope for surgery now. We were crushed and depressed. The following day an ERCP was done to put in a metal wall stent and biopsy the tumor. The jaundiced improved rapidly over the next week but his spirit did not. The dr called the following week to confirm the biopsy results, Stage IV pc. Dad only heard CANCER on the phone he did not hear the stage or the fact that if he chose nothing we needed to consider who would handle setting up hospice. After some discussion my parents agreed to meet with an oncologist. We saw him on 5-11-99 and he discussed the success stories he has seen. Again our hopes were lifted, dad's too! More blood work and a chest X-ray before we meet again next week to discuss treatment (clinical trials). I'm not sure he or we can handle anymore sad news. We went from a family who was remarkably untouched by tragedy to another statistic. I am grateful for this site which I recently found. This is so very different from the factual information we have been reading about pc. Here I see compassion, concern and love-Thank you.

Posted 05/16/1999 02:10 am by Sharon
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