Mary Ann Gee

First post: 1/31/2017 Latest post: 7/17/2017
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This story all started with a normal annual visit in late October
to my internist, at Dreyer Clinic, during which I said I was having some acid
reflux or heartburn.  He ordered a number
of blood tests and a return appointment in November.

The blood tests showed a mildly elevated Lipase level, which
is an enzyme secreted by the pancreas. While he did not feel that the level was
high enough to be diagnosed as pancreatitis he referred me to the
gastroenterology department.

The GI doctor wanted me to have an MRI before seeing me and
this was scheduled for late December since we were on a cruise through the
Panama Canal until just before Christmas.

After the MRI the GI office called to say that the MRI
showed some restriction in the pancreatic and/or bile ducts and they needed to
do an ultrasonic endoscopic (EUS) examination to determine what was causing the
restriction.  This was scheduled for Jan
19, 2017.

On Jan 2, 2017 I had an attack of gastric pain which the Dreyer
Clinic walk in care doctor thought was diverticulitis and wanted a Cat Scan to
verify the diagnosis.  Since most of
Dreyer was closed for the holidays we went to Rush Copley ER where the doctor
ordered a Cat Scan and blood work.  The
Cat Scan confirmed the diverticulitis and the duct restriction.  Blood work in the ER also showed that the Lipase
enzyme numbers had risen even higher.

The ER doctor called the Dreyer GI doctor who indicated that
he would try to bring the scheduled EUS procedure forward to an earlier date
than Jan 19.

When Dreyer GI was unable to reschedule the procedure they
referred me to Dr Rajesh Pillae at Sherman Hospital in Elgin who was able to
schedule the procedure for Jan 10.

 

Unfortunately this EUS procedure resulted in identifying a
small mass at the junction of the bile duct and pancreatic duct which was
almost certainly pancreatic cancer.  Dr
Pillae recommended that we consult with Dr John Brems, a surgeon at Sherman
Hospital who specializes in pancreatic and liver diseases.   

 

After reviewing Dr Brems’s qualifications and experience we
met with him on Jan 17th and, after a discussion of possible paths
forward, we decided based on his recommendation to schedule surgery on Jan 20.

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