Pancreas Cancer Web

PAUL (my husband)

Paul, my husband, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in April of 1998. He was 55 (almost 56--found out the day before his birthday) when diagnosed. Paul was an insulin dependent diabetic since December, 1979, who took excellent care of himself and went to the doctor faithfully every 3 months. All of a sudden, he started having trouble keeping food down at times so told his doctor and the doctor suspected gall bladder problems. I can remember how upset Paul was with that possibility. They did an ultrasound and before the results were given to the doctor, Paul started turning yellow. Went to a gastroentrologist who did an endoscopy and he told us of the pancreatic cancer. The next day, we were at the Cleveland Clinic talking to a surgeon. Within a week of the first diagnosis, he was being operated on with the hopes that a Whipple could be performed. Not to be--they found a walnut-sized lump on a lymph node near the pancreas so they would not remove the tumor (that is their protocol). They did a bypass for digestive purposes and he came home 5 days after the surgery. 4 weeks later, Paul began his treatments. 2 weeks of chemo (continuous drip) and 7 weeks of radiation. Drove to Cleveland (2 hours drive) 5 days a week. He handled it so well--rarely complained--and kept his spirits up. Things were looking pretty good until November of 1999 when they said the cancer was growing again. That is when he was enrolled in a clinical trial for RFS 2000--he got the gemzar arm. In January, he started experiencing fluid retention--that was really rough on him. Paul was such a great and gentle person--tried not to complain and tried not to hold back from doing anything. He kept trying to bowl but was rapidly going from a 215 average bowler to a 150 bowler because he couldn't bend over (stomach bloated) and no muscles. He never gave up but still couldn't beat this terrible disease. A blood clot to the heart took him silently and quickly on April 5, 2000 while watching JAG!! We went to church every Sunday and as I would sit there, I would ask God for a miracle for Paul--I guess the quick end with little suffering was God's miracle to Paul and I, but these past 2 and 1/2 months have been hell on earth for me. He was my true soulmate and my source of happiness. Paul was 57 years old when he died--much too young. He was a good man--one who was well-loved. I am thankful for the last 2 years that I had him--some good things came about because we knew his days might be numbered--but in the end, the final reality is that pancreatic cancer robbed him of his life.

Posted 06/12/2000 02:42 pm by Pat
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