The category I fall into: T3, N1, MX. Pathology report: Moderately Differentiated adenocarcinoma grade II / III, Common bile duct, pancreatic & duodenal margins negative, Extensive perineural invasion, tumor invades into peripancreatic adipose tissue & into duodenal wall, 2 out of 20 lymph nodes positive, Chronic fibrosing pancreatitis. Tumor size = 3.0 x 3.0 x 2.7cm. I did not have tumor markers before surgery, but were normal level post surgery. Med Hx prior: Healthy, energetic, 5’7”, 144lbs, Non-smoker, drinker, druggie. Working fulltime x 15 yrs at the University Of MS Med Center as an Admission Nurse Case Manager. This is a short story of a Long past 6mo.
My husband & I were getting used to being “Empty Nesters”. My Symtoms: Gas, bloating, constipation, heartburn. Another symptom I ignored but, wished I hadn’t, was while weeding flowerbeds spring 07, when I bent over, I felt diaphragm pressure “engorged”-like blood or fluid was pressuring my upper chest & neck. I also continued to have, occasional & inconsistent, classic Gallbladder pain- under my Rt. rib radiating to back & I would joke with co workers while laughing- “oh boy, my gallbladder’s letting me know I should not have had those donuts!”
Was not until OCT 8,07 I went for Check up. Elevated liver enzymes lead to Ultrasound then CT, MRI & ERCP- all confirmed tumor head of pancreas obstructing the ducts. (At this time I started a file folder with a calendar in it, all my results, notes, info…etc & carried it everywhere I went) I agreed to let Dr. Anthony Petro perform the dreaded Whipple surgery, OCT. 29th 2007 at the Mississippi Baptist Medical Center instead of going to another state. GLAD OF IT!!
It took a little over 5 hrs & the sticky tumor & had to be picked off from my portal vein. He had assistance from another surgeon. I spent, 1 or 2 nights in ICU, & total of 21 days hospitalized. Why so long? Probably due to my ever so hated NG tube being removed a little too soon, no bowel sounds & delayed gastric emptying. Surgery went well, no leaks from anastomosis. The staples & drain were removed after 12 days. I had (and still do have)tremendous support from my husband, family, nurse coworker/friends & church family. After TPN, a second admission for septicemia, IV antibiotics, NGT, etc, my stomach finally started emptying & I could eat!(Hi-five to Jesus on that) I have completed also locally, 30 tx of radiation & chemo course of 5FU under Chief Oncologist, Dr Tate Thigpen, Univ MS Med Ctr. PET scan clear, & March 08 CT scan still clear. Ca19-9 tumor Marker= '6'.
I am currently on Gemzar/Tarceva combo x 6 mo. I had 3wks heal time between Chemos & felt great, appetite & energy improved enough for vacation to Bahamas with our sons for spring break. I was doing water slides & eating lots of various foods.
Currently dealing with: HOT sweat/flashes, Tarceva'Rash' on face with clindagel RX /Eucerin face lotion, fatigue, Off & on constipation, hemorrhoids, nausea. I take Enzyme-Pancrease MT20 20min before meals. Maintaining my Wt:121-123 lbs. Emotionally,I'm climbing my mountain. I take the good with the bad, cry a little every now & then in the shower, balance staying busy with rest & eating. During my time off work, I'm enjoy MY wonderful sofa for naps, walking with my 2 great danes, cooking, visiting-emailing friends & reading.
I thank GOD everyday for being here! I depend on my husband Alot to take care of our horses & strenous yardwork, but I'll get back eventually. My Goal is to return to my job in the Fall after Chemo. I strive to be a 'TIGGER' but mostly a PoohBear/Rabbit I think. I'm open to discussion & further
info-can contact me Aliciadpeters