Barb Marek

First post: Apr 3, 2017 Latest post: May 1, 2017
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Mom went to the doctor on February 14th for an ultrasound to find answers to pain she had been having for a few weeks. The results came back showing lesions on her liver. Two days later she had a CT scan and we were told she has stage 4 pancreatic cancer. This is known as the "silent cancer", because there are really no symptoms and no way to test for it until it spreads. The cancer had started in her pancreas and has spread to her liver. This is where the pain is coming from.

The road since then has been very bumpy. We have been trying to control her pain, but have found it very difficult, since her stomach is so sensitive to narcotics. It seems that everything we give her makes her nauseous. So then the doctors started giving her anti-nausea pills, and those made her nauseous. 

In the meantime, we were working with doctors and oncologists to get chemo going. We were told this was our only option. While we were preparing to have a port put in, Mom got a blood clot in her lung. So it was 2 nights in the hospital, and cancelling the appointment for chemo that week. When we got out of the hospital, Mom had to go back on blood thinners for her blood clot. She had her first (and last) chemo treatment without a port.

That next week she was scheduled to have a nerve block done down at the University of Minnesota to try to take care of the pain. After the block the doctor was optimistic it would work. It didn't. And it made Mom very sick for the rest of the week. At that point she decided to not have any more chemo treatments. 

So last week we enrolled Mom into the hospice program. They are working on taking care of the pain, and keeping up with the nausea. The pain is going fairly well, but she is still nauseous. She does still have pain, but not as bad as it has been. Our goal now is to find the right balance of morphine that she will not be in pain, but will not sleep the rest of her life away. 

Thank you for joining us on this journey. We have had so many friends and family that have been absolutely amazing! Mom has bad days and not quite as bad days. She has bad hours and not quite as bad hours. So if you would like to come see her, please call first and see how her day is going and if it would be a good time. We truly appreciate all of the support we have received from everyone so far. I think it is a true sign of who my mother is and what a great friend she is to others, to see the outpouring of support from her friends and family. 

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