Pancreas Cancer Web


I'm writing for my husband of 33 years. Tom is 56. He was diagnosed with Stage IV PA with liver mets, and mets to lymph nodes in June, 2006. He had no early symptoms. Mild stomach ache, occasional back pain. He started losing weight rapidly in March & April. Our family doctor started running tests the end of April. His blood work came back fine, all the tests came back fine, until he had a Cat Scan. I'll never forget the day we went to the doctors office and he told us that he had PA and we should see an oncologist right away. The first liver biopsy came back inconclusive, all these tests seemed to be taking too much time. His Onc. admitted him to the hospital to get answers faster. They did a pancreas biopsy and it revealed andeocarcinoma. It was still so unbelievable and Tom was so sick. I remember thinking then the end was near and so did he. It was just a mild setback. They gave him Reglan and Megace to get him eating again and within a few days his appetite came back, he gained a couple of lbs. and his Onc. was ready to get him started on Gemzar/Cistplatin. Chemo was such a scary thought for both of us. He had Cistplatin every week and Gemzar two weeks on and one week off. He handled it very well. No nausea, no hair loss, just very tired all the time. He had a small amount of pain in his back around to his side, but Vicodin took it right away and he usually only took 1 or 2 pills a day. We had a good summer. Tried to do everything he could handle. We are active 4-H leaders and he stayed busy at our county fair. He just became more jaundiced all the time though. His Bilireuben kept going up. He finished his gemzar cycles the end of Aug. and the Onc. ordered a cat scan. To our dismay, the Pancreas tumor grew 1cm and more tumors popped up in the liver while on Gemzar. He also became very jaundiced in the past 3 weeks. The Onc. was not ready to give up. We took a week off chemo and she made us an appt. at The Barbara Karmanos Cancer Ctr. in Detroit, MI. I remember thinking maybe this was our answer. Labor Day weekend we went on a 4 day vacation to a favorite spot of ours. He was sick though and spent most of the time in the room. She had him try some enzynes and we think they didn't agree with him. It was still nice being on the beach and just enjoying each other and not running to chemo treatments. We had the appt. Tues at Karmanos. Again to our dismay, the Oncologist at Karmanos told us there was nothing they could do for us. His bilireuben was 5.5 and his liver funciton was not good enough for Tom to entered into any Clinical Trials. We were really disappointed. We knew there are no cures, we knew we were in for a fight, but then to be told we had nothing to fight with, was just too much. We went back to Tom's regular Oncologist the next morning pretty depressed, but she was not ready to give up. She said we could try 5FU with Leucorvorin to boost it. Tom was ready to try anything, even if it killed him, he still wanted to keep fighting. So he started the 5FU the second week of Sept. and has had the 48hr. treatment everyother week since. He has some diarrhea, but that is his only symptom. His bilireuben has gone down to 3.1, still too high, but much better. All the jaundice he had has gone from his eyes and skin. He can't eat just anything, but he can eat enough to maintain weight. He hasn't lost any weight since June. He's diabetic, was before, the insulin he takes keeps it pretty much under control. His Aug. CA19-9 was 122, his Sept. one was 119. Tomorrow, Oct. 24th we'll find out his months markers. He'll have 1 more cycle of 5FU then another cat scan will be ordered. I dread that Cat Scan. I just hope it's better than the last one. I feel like the months are going so fast, never sure how much time he has left. He can't work his regular job, but manages to keep busy. He and his brothers farm 1500 acres along with his dad and our son. So...he can only do what he can do. For meds, he's still on the Reglan & Megace when he needs it. Prylosec and has Vicodin for pain. He hasn't had a Vicodin in 3 weeks though. I keep hoping this lack of pain and jaundice are good signs. We just take each day as it comes and pray a lot. Our best to all of you that are fighting this dreaded disease. We will update soon. Take Care and Prayers to you. Tom & Marie

Posted 10/23/2006 07:29 pm by Marie, Mich
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