Last weekend in August 2005 found me cleaning out my mother's apt as she was in hospital and would definately be going to a Nursing Home. The whole summer had been very stressful and I drank nearly a whole bottle if Maalox that weekend.
Long weekend in Sept 2005 found me getting my two daughters moved to the city for university. They were 22 and 19. The oldest going into her 5th year and the youngest her 2nd.
Took a couple days to breathe then called the Drs. office on Sep 8 (Thurs)to book a Pap and mentioned a little nausea. She wanted to book me for the following day (???) Couldn't go that day so she booked me for the 10th (Monday)
Went in on Monday. Discussed my symptoms-Nausea and off-coloured stool and thought probably time for the gall bladder to come out. Then we went into the exam room for the Pap and breast exam. He took a good look at me and asked if I knew I was jaundiced? Nope-didn't know. Been too busy. At this point things really started to move.
Next day had blood work and was supposed to have ultra sound but forgot I wasen't supposed to eat. At this stage I still wasen't thinking anything serious. The lady at the diagnostic imaging place wasen't impressed with me when I turned up after having breakfast but managed to move people around to get me in the next morning.
Saw my Dr on Wednesday for results. Now things are starting to get serious. You have a mass on your pancreas. OK says I this could be benign. Reply-it's almost never benign. I'm going to get in touch with a surgeon and get you an appt. and a CT scan tomorrow. OK says I.
Now things are getting serious. Had CT scan Thursday and up to see the Surgeon on Friday. Took a very good friend and my eldest daughter insisted on coming in with me. At this point I haden't told the youngest one except that I wanted to take her out to lunch that day.
So we sat in the office. The intern came in and explained what pancreas cancer was about. What they could do and not do. etc. The Dr came in after what seemed a lifetime. He had been checking the CT scan. All they could see was a slight thickening of the Bile Duct and he recommended a Whipple and expected good results. He said if it was his wife that is what he would recommend. That was good enough for me. I asked no further questions. Just when will we do it.
After this the relief for all of us was incredible. I nearly got us killed driving to pick up my youngest so my friend took over driving. She nearly got us killed going to lunch. We were wired.
So we went home that day knowing I had be back in the city on Monday to be there for youngest child's tonsilectomy on Tuesday. My volleyball team all came over on Saturday for a potluck supper and did my vacuuming for me. Sunday had to let my Mother know I'd be away for awhile and why. Monday morning had to rush around to get my Will and Power of Attorney done then left for the city.
Got through the child's surgery and spent a week with her (This is a bad surgery when you are older) then just waited for phone call. It came finally and I was booked for Sept 28.
Both my children came with me that day. This was the first real crisis of their lives. (Lucky girls!) Surgery took 6 hrs and I was well under. I am one of those lucky people who can be conscious while under. It's an awful feeling to be awake and unable to move or breathe so they made sure that didn't happen.
Much of the next couple of days is lost to me. I know the girls got to see me around 10pm. They were very worried and there was one particular nurse who wasen't very kind to them. I know I wanted more pain stuff but my blood pressure was too low. I remember the warm cloths they used to wash me the next day. It felt so good.
Next evening I was moved from ICU to another room while they waited for my permanent rooom which came up on the 2nd day after surgery. Up and sitting in a chair that day. I was walking around by the 3rd day ( a little) Had a pile of company that day.
Everything went like clockwork after that. Catheter removed. Pain pump removed. Central line removed. Everything gone and showering by Oct 6 or 7. Just couldn't eat. Then came the day I almost stole the cheese from the blind, diabetic lady in my room. I knew all would be well.
Went home on Oct 13. I know that because it was opening night for 'Who's Underwear' and we went to the Theater to check the set. I didn't go that night. I waited for a week cause I knew I was going to 'split a gut' laughing. I took a pillow to hold my innards together.
It was a few week before I got the results. 1.8 cm tumor with clear margins. Microscopic trace in one lymph node (8 taken) Chemo started in December ended in 1st week June.
Here it is Sept 28 again and I'm back playing Volleyball, taking aquacize
classes and walking a lot. Girls are back in school. Oldest joined the Navy
so they would pay for her nursing degree. I'm 52 yrs old and feeling better
than I have in a long time. Missed maybe 7 weeks of work all told. On
Zantac only. Life is very good.