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I am a 45 year old married mother of two strikingly handsome teenage sons, (yes, I am a very proud mother!). My mother died from diabetes at a young age of 46, her mom died the same way at age 54. My siblings and I have all ďbeen waiting ďfor the disease to get us. It started about 6-8 months or longer before I got diagnosed, I just felt run down all the time, I stopped working out, and as soon as I got home I would head right for the couch. I was tired a lot of the time. I had constant heartburn, I lived on Tums. Lost about ten pounds, but hey what women doesnít love that, I wasnít complaining about the weight loss. I went to visit a friend from high school for the weekend, my first time away in a long time. I started having really bad back pain, I thought it was normal, ( I also have chronic back pain) it got stronger and stronger, and I didnít say anything to my girlfriend, geez I had not seen her in ages and I didnít wanna look like a whiner. Heartburn was really bad and I had stomach cramps. I though it was my period. A really bad one. Well 2 days later I went home and just broke down to my husband, I was balling. I knew something was wrong. I called my local doc and after a few routine questions, I think they knew. They sent me to a wonderful doctor, Dr. Rick Newman, a gastritis doctor. He knew it was something bad, I could tell. I was in a ton of pain. He sent me to San Francisco by ambulance for tests. He knew I needed serious medical attention fast. I had all the symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer. I had a few tests and a stent put in to help ease the pain and I was scheduled for surgery in a month. (the specialist was leaving town, so I had to wait). July 21, 2005 wow what a day. I was actually scheduled for surgery the day before, but they cancelled my surgery at 6:00 a.m. I was devastated. I just wanted it over with. I was 4 hours away from my kids and I didnít want to be away an extra day. At that time everyday was precious to me. I wanted to be home with my kids. They were devastated by the fact that I had cancer. I needed to comfort them. I needed to be with them. We were afraid I would die. My husband was afraid of losing me. We are a tight family, we were terrified. I had a successful operation the next day. The recovery was long and very painful. I never got true pain relief ever. They wanted me to talk to an oncologist at the hospital but I refused, it was more than I could deal with at the time. I just wanted to recover from being gutted and get out of there. Going home was a long trip, I donít think I said more than 3 words all the way home, cuz if I did I felt like I would throw up. And thatís exactly what I did when I walked in my house. I will never forget the look on my sons and my sister face when I walked in the door. I looked like the walking dead, they were shocked and tried to hide it. I could see it. I already was 135 lbs at 5í 9Ē and I came home at least 10 lbs thinner. I looked sick and I was sick for a while. It was a long recovery, I wasnít strong enough to make the trip back to San Francisco for my 2 week follow up ( yeah right). For about 2 weeks all I did was throw up everything I ate. No one at the hospital said I would have trouble eating, the only instructions we got wereĒ eat a low fat diet.Ē They never told us it was like having gastric bypass surgery. I was nauseated all the time, my husband fed me ensure thru a feeding tube, gave me my meds thru the tube too, and I could barely drink water. I spent all my time in bed, I was too weak to do anything, and just going downstairs was exhausting. Little by little things got better. I knew I needed to get to an oncologist soon but I also knew I was too weak for any kind of chemo. I waited until September to go to the oncologist, our fist meeting went well. Dr. Newman referred us to this doctor, Dr. F. Conrath. We liked him immediately. (Thanks Dr. Newman for the right choice).. We started with an aggressive treatment, because now a tumor had metastasis to my liver. and some lymp nodes tested positive too. The outcome didnít look so good. I barely survived the 6 months of chemo. I was on xeloda, gemzar, and taxotere. I was sick all the time, even hospitalized once for dehydration. Gosh, my poor family, having to watch me so close to death and unable to do anything to stop it.. My results got better with each test. As of today January 29, 2007 my ca 19-9 is, for the first time in the ďso called normalĒ range with a number of 34. The lowest itís ever been. Of course this has changed my life dramatically; the best change has to be no more smoking. I had a bad habit for almost 30 years. I donít think I would have been able to quit had I not been so sick. I havenít had a cig since the day I walked into the hospital for testing.(still miss em though) I cherish my time with my family, I appreciate them all so much. I donít want to leave them, hurt them like that, so I will do whatever I need to, to fight this cancer. next app. feb. 26th 2007

Posted 02/19/2007 11:22 am by Kathy f
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