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Pancreatic Cancer Is One Mean Killer
Old 08-21-2006, 04:37 PM   #1
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Pancreatic Cancer Is One Mean Killer

Wife of my college roommate died last week. She found out in late May about her cancer and less than three months later was buried. She was planning to work one more year. We spent the week with her at their home, and it was my first direct experience with hospice, and I was quite impressed . We got together every summer and now that I am back home the realization that those reunion days are over is sobering. Well, no more rambling by me, just a resolve to appreciate what I have.
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Re: Pancreatic Cancer Is One Mean Killer
Old 08-21-2006, 04:46 PM   #2
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Re: Pancreatic Cancer Is One Mean Killer

So sorry about your loss Poboy. Cancer sucks.

Yep, pancreatic cancer can be horrible, though there are a lot more symptom-related procedures, drains, and pain blocks now than there were 10 or 20 years ago. At least where I work, we can at least keep most patients tolerably comfortable until the inevitable.

And we do see rare cures, though usually when it was discovered by accident. Life goes on.
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Re: Pancreatic Cancer Is One Mean Killer
Old 08-21-2006, 07:26 PM   #3
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Re: Pancreatic Cancer Is One Mean Killer

That is very sad, Poboy. So sorry for you and for your roommate...

Caroline
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Re: Pancreatic Cancer Is One Mean Killer
Old 08-21-2006, 07:30 PM   #4
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Re: Pancreatic Cancer Is One Mean Killer

I've heard that pancreatic cancer is a doozy. Very fast spreading with grim statistics. I heard people who are afflicted get acutely ill, right away (like suddenly turning a corner) which warrants a visit to the doctor. Is this correct, R-in-T?
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Re: Pancreatic Cancer Is One Mean Killer
Old 08-21-2006, 09:04 PM   #5
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Re: Pancreatic Cancer Is One Mean Killer

I lost my mother to pancreatic cancer. Even though it seemed to be pretty advanced, she survived 15 months after the diagnosis. She didn't seem to get sick right away. But later the decline was pretty swift.

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Re: Pancreatic Cancer Is One Mean Killer
Old 08-21-2006, 09:13 PM   #6
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Re: Pancreatic Cancer Is One Mean Killer

Quote:
Originally Posted by cube_rat
I've heard that pancreatic cancer is a doozy. Very fast spreading with grim statistics. I heard people who are afflicted get acutely ill, right away (like suddenly turning a corner) which warrants a visit to the doctor. Is this correct, R-in-T?
Not quite, in general. What often happens is that because of its tucked-away location, it is often very advanced before if finally causes symptoms, either pain or jaundice. By then it has usually already spread to the liver or other nearby organs and only symptomatic treatments are of much help.

There are some newer chemotherapies which hold modest promise of increasing survival by some months, but often with side-effects. It's not hopeless, but it's bad.
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Re: Pancreatic Cancer Is One Mean Killer
Old 08-21-2006, 09:14 PM   #7
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Re: Pancreatic Cancer Is One Mean Killer

Quote:
Originally Posted by audreyh1
I lost my mother to pancreatic cancer. Even though it seemed to be pretty advanced, she survived 15 months after the diagnosis. She didn't seem to get sick right away. But later the decline was pretty swift.

Audrey
I'm very sorry for your loss, Audrey and Poboy.
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Re: Pancreatic Cancer Is One Mean Killer
Old 08-21-2006, 09:18 PM   #8
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Re: Pancreatic Cancer Is One Mean Killer

Me too. Losing someone is always painful. It is even worse when you lose them to a devastating illness.

Mikey
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Re: Pancreatic Cancer Is One Mean Killer
Old 08-21-2006, 10:28 PM   #9
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Re: Pancreatic Cancer Is One Mean Killer

Rich hit it on the button. It was discovered during gallbladder surgery, and it had spread to her liver. At least the pain meds kept her comfortable.
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Re: Pancreatic Cancer Is One Mean Killer
Old 08-21-2006, 11:23 PM   #10
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Re: Pancreatic Cancer Is One Mean Killer

A colleague 'got' it in Baton Rouge many years ago. He came back to work after treatment and looked like he had lost 100# (45 kg to you communists out there). He did not stay at work for long.

I remember reading in the local paper that, due to intense investigation and study, researchers had doubled the survival rate--from 0.5% to 1%.

Our flesh eventually betrays us. One day we may win, but not today.

I am sad to hear this story, poboy.

I hope all those of you who have the means do retire early.

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Re: Pancreatic Cancer Is One Mean Killer
Old 08-22-2006, 05:48 AM   #11
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Re: Pancreatic Cancer Is One Mean Killer

My mom has it and it was discovered during a visit to the ER for kidney stone.

Thankfully it did not spread and after major surgery she appears to be clear for now, it's been 11 months.

We just completed a fund raising walk for Pancreatic cancer, needless to say she was one of the few survivors there.

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Re: Pancreatic Cancer Is One Mean Killer
Old 08-22-2006, 08:25 PM   #12
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Re: Pancreatic Cancer Is One Mean Killer

Also sorry to read about the loss of another precious life to cancer. If there is any good to all this it is like you said... it does help us to put what we consider the "worries" of our own lives in perspective thus hopefully causing us to better appreciate the things that we do have, which is for me health, a good job, and the nearing dream of many disciplined years... an early retirement.

I still recall watching the Johnny Carson Show back in the early 90's when Michael Landon was the guest. He also had pancreatic cancer at the time but still managed to smile and laugh a lot, then asked everyone for their prayers. Two weeks later he had passed away. That's one show that has stuck with me ever since and still helps me to put things back into perspective when I think I've got it so bad.
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