We hope this Caring Bridge website will be helpful in keeping you posted and to let you know things that might be helpful as our family faces the challenges ahead.
First, a bit of background. In late September, Cindy was diagnosed with a tumor on her pancreas. Within a couple of days, she had further diagnostic tests performed at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine. Unfortunately, these tests revealed that the cancer had spread and was not operable – this placed her at Stage IV pancreatic cancer.
We spent the next several weeks seeking additional opinions, including a trip to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, a nationally recognized cancer research center. All of the oncologists were in agreement. From a medical standpoint, there is not currently a cure for Stage IV pancreatic cancer and there are not any clinical trials that offer significantly viable breakthroughs.
In mid-October, we linked up with New England Cancer Specialists (NECS), a highly respected group recognized as a leader in cancer patient care, treatment and research. We are working with the medical staff at their Brunswick, Maine office, located about 45 minutes from our home.
The plan going forward is for Cindy to receive palliative chemotherapy treatments, with the goal of slowing/containing the spread and relieving pain. NECS will also work closely with us to alleviate the many side effects associated with chemotherapy as well as to balance treatments with quality of life.