If My Mom Has Pancreatic Cancer Will I Get It – On November 21, it will be one year since my mother died. He was a wonderful person who shared his gifts with the world – he could create anything with a sewing machine and a glue gun, he was passionate about the environment and sustainable living (he blogged about building of an 8-year-old adventure network. home. ), he meditated and used it. Trying to find inner peace, he is the best vegan cook I know. We could use more people like him.
Not much has been written about the last years of his life and his fight against pancreatic cancer. In the beginning, everything was uncertain and chaotic. In the end, we were too exhausted and had time to grieve. Now I feel like telling this story before I forget. I got most of it from notes I made, old text messages, medical records, and a journal she kept. It is not a happy story, and it is no comfort for anyone who has a loved one fighting cancer, but perhaps there is a lesson to be learned. I understand that many people find this too painful to read.
If My Mom Has Pancreatic Cancer Will I Get It
In January 2020, my mother will visit her children and grandchildren in BC. He was strong and energetic. He walked with Astrid to the community center and even did his part. It’s amazing how quickly things change after a trip.
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He was in pain for over a week before his skin and eyes turned yellow (jaundice) and he had problems urinating.
On March 19, against his will, he went to the hospital to see a doctor who found a lump in his pancreas and removed his gall bladder. They did a biopsy to see if it was cancer.
The biopsy results came back the next day and confirmed that he had stage 2 pancreatic cancer and only 6-12 months to live. We were all shocked. My mother was young (61), otherwise healthy, and had no other risk factors apart from the genetic predisposition.
My grandfather died of pancreatic cancer when I was 3 years old (Astrid was that age), and my thoughts immediately went to this wonderful man that my relatives talk about, but I don’t remember. The hardest part of hearing the early cancer diagnosis was when I realized that Astrid was going to lose the years she had with her Baby. In the worst case, it can be completely forgotten.
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Pancreatic cancer is dangerous. Most people who get it have no risk factors, so there’s not much you can do to prevent it. Most people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer have only 10 months to live. Even if caught very early, the average patient lives only 3.5 years. It has the lowest survival rate of all cancers.
My mother’s diagnosis came at the beginning of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The country went into lockdown. We struggled with preschool closing, working from home, and dealing with the fear and uncertainty that characterized the early days. The weight of my mother’s cancer diagnosis hit me hard. With nothing to keep us in Vancouver anymore, we got a car and drove to Manitoba with the plan to work remotely, help my dad, and spend as much time as we could with my mom.
I remember talking to mom after she found out she had cancer and she was very determined. The rest of us were a mess, but he seemed calm. When his time passed, he made peace with her. He didn’t regret it. He believed in reincarnation and knew he would move on to the next life where he could work to repair his karma. But we weren’t ready for him to leave.
The first step in his cancer treatment was Whipple surgery, a complex and invasive procedure that removes the tumor along with part of the small intestine, gallbladder and gallbladder , then the digestive system works again. I remember calling Cancer Care Manitoba every morning and asking if he had a surgery date. It was a chaotic time where elective surgeries were canceled due to the coronavirus and I didn’t want to miss it. Fortunately, he arrived quickly and was operated on in Brandon on March 26 with Dr. Dhalla, who had accidentally shot my grandfather 30 years earlier as a young doctor. It was in experienced hands.
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The surgery was successful and all the visible cancer was removed, but the doctor noted that 2/16 of the lymph nodes removed were cancerous and were invasive – cancer cells were found on nerve endings and along the edges of the veins Although she has now been diagnosed with stage 3 cancer, we still hoped that she would be able to recover from the operation and be cancer free. If anyone can overcome this, surely they can, but it won’t be easy.
The surgery took a toll on him and he spent two weeks recovering in hospital. He was released on April 9 (his 62nd birthday) and sent home to celebrate with his family and recover. Until then, her home in the Ponderosa was a haven for her children and grandchildren. I’m not sure if being surrounded by a loving family helped him heal, but his presence was comforting to us.
It took a few weeks, but mom recovered from Whipple surgery and things were pretty much back to normal. Although he had to watch what he ate and take extra medication (proton pump inhibitor for digestion and opioids for pain), he was able to spend a lot of time with us. I didn’t appreciate it then, but May is a beautiful month. She did yoga with her grandchildren, went for walks, cooked with us, and even helped plant the garden. It wasn’t 100%, but it was active most days. Unfortunately, after the chemotherapy started, everything changed.
My mother always said that if she had cancer, she would never do chemotherapy. It poisons the body, and cancer is a disease that can only be prevented and cured by diet. His cancer dealt a blow to that belief, and his doctor convinced him that chemotherapy could give him more years to live. He agreed, but probably because he thought that his family wanted him to do everything.
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I was still living in Ponderosa when he had his first round of chemotherapy on June 3rd. He felt better that day and slept well the night before. Ate 1/2 a bagel and a cup of oatmeal chia pudding with avocado and toast. He spent the day at the Cancer Center in Brandon, where he received a number of medications. The remaining cocktail was delivered home over the next 2 days from a bottle he had. Felt better the first few days – tiredness and stomachache, but otherwise strong.
Unfortunately, things gradually took a turn for the worse. After the Whipple procedure, she complained of severe abdominal pain, increased fatigue and loss of appetite. We celebrated Astrid’s birthday early on June 7th with sushi and cake, but mom was too tired to show up. Knowing that he was doing it to be with his family, it was a clear sign that he was not well.
At first, mom said she wasn’t going to start chemo after we left because she didn’t want to get sick around us. He doesn’t want to take risks or be a burden. My mother went through a lot of pain and discomfort without telling us (I only know from her diary). He was very reluctant to take painkillers, often waiting until the pain became unbearable. He worked hard to get off opioids with Whipple surgery because he didn’t want to become an addict, which looks stupid afterwards.
On June 11 Emily, Astrid and I left Ponderosa after 2.5 months. It was hard to say goodbye without knowing what the future holds. I was hoping that things would get better, but I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to see him again.
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As soon as we left, my mother called her doctor and explained her symptoms. He asked her to leave immediately. He was subjected to many tests, but no serious problems were found, so he was sent home. My mother was due to start her second chemo on June 17th (2 weeks after the first) but they delayed it until they figured out why she had so much trouble with the first.
The tests showed that he had parasites in his digestive system (blastocystis) and they did not help. Fortunately, they are easily treated with antibiotics, but this treatment is delayed. I remember talking to my mom and dad at this point and they were pretty optimistic. They thought
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