My mother had symptoms in May 2014 and started seeing her primary doctor regularly to figure out what was going on. June 9, her doctor ordered her to go to hospital immediately. That week she had a blocked bile duct and a procedure to temporarily drain into an external bag. July 2014 had Whipple Surgery on what we thought was only going to remove the head of pancreas. After surgery, surgeon said he had to remove all pancreas, gall bladder and spleen. In August 2014, is when we were officially told my mom had Pancreas Cancer in Stage 4. She began radiation treatments and chemo in pill form in late September. She could get around in her walker for short distances and needed wheelchair for long distance. On Nov 11, 2014 we received update on cancer marker.. it had doubled since June. This was also her first day for Chemo through IV. She had another chemo session on Nov 18. By Nov 24, 2014 she was extremely weak and hydrated. Was emitted to hospital and everything just went down hill. She spent Thanksgiving in hospital. Then she was transferred to a rehab center. Her Whipple incision had opened during chemo and was infected. She legs and abdomen have lots of liquid and she rarely gets into a wheelchair, and that is with help. This cancer is horrible. My mom is mostly knocked out due to needing powerful pain meds. It's my birthday today, 12-12-14 and I am so thankful to God to still have my mom. My heart goes out to anyone all who has cancer. I will keep you updated. (I HAD POSTED THIS HERE ON DEC 12, 2014)
Jan 21, update on my post from Dec 12. I just realized I didn't mention that my mom started in home hospice care on 12-11-14. She is still in hospice care. She stopped her anxiety meds and pain meds are received once a day in a small dose. Her swelling has gone down, but still there. Her incision is closing and her bed sores are almost completely gone. We don't know what is happening since we haven't taken her to get scans for cancer marker updates.... but my mom has no pain. She is still determined to walk again, does exercises from her bed. Because of no pancreas, she does take insulin, pancrease pills and pills to prevent bloating. Her sugar levels are really good so she probably gets her daytime shots once a day, instead of 3. She always has to have her nighttime insulin shot. Because she isn't receiving treatment, we have turned to natural remedies and pray to God that she will be with us for years to come. So according to my calculation, she is in month 8 since experiencing pancreas cancer symptoms. Again, thank you to all for sharing your stories and you are all in my thoughts and prayers. (I HAD POSTED THIS HERE ON JANUARY 21, 2015)
2-22-15 My mom passed away.
It later January, early February and my mom felt like she had stomach flu and she was only able to stand if at all. She started to need a lot of topical pain ointment rubbed on her back. Feb 8, her stomach started to get bloated. She said she had gas that she couldn't get rid of but she would get up with her walker and take a few steps and do her daily workouts with my brother. Feb 16 I started to smell an odor and no one else did. It was coming from my mom but it was unexplainable. Feb 20 my mom's lips looked different.
Feb 21 she couldn't get comfortable and started to hear a voice calling her name. Only she could hear.
Feb 22 still at home, we faced it and put all of the pieces together because hospice didn't say anything... death was taking my mom's body. She told me she wasn't going to be here to watch my 6 year old soon grow up and that it would be hard for me. (she was my best friend) Back in December she had already made her final plans and said what she wanted to each of the people she loved. So this day was all about keeping her comfortable and just being there with her. Not much was said. She told me she wasn't afraid to die but she was going to keep fighting! my mom was a strong, stubborn, determined person in good health. She didn't take any morphine. We hooked oxygen on to her because she said there was a lot of pressure on her lungs. Lots of family was there - she is the oldest of 10. we all stayed with her until she took her last breath. It's almost a month since her passing, I don't think it's hit me, I feel like she is coming back. maybe that is normal, I don't know but I am lost without her. I hope to help others who have found themselves connected to pancreatic cancer.
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