Pam Garlach Johnson

First post: May 17, 2017 Latest post: Nov 21, 2019

Pam intended to have a great start to her retirement which began on April 7, 2017.  Instead it was a series of medical tests and procedures. She received a definitive diagnosis of pancreatic cancer on April 14th.  Although this was a shock to all of us, she was glad to finally have a diagnosis why she wasn't feeling well. She started pretty intense chemo on Wednesday, May 17, 2017. The initial treatment was very difficult but she weathered it pretty well. The initial round of chemotherapy continued through four rounds and she was then reassessed. Everything except the size of the tumor showed improvement; the tumor growing slightly by millimeters. 

She entered a second round of chemo using different drugs on July 19, 2017.  Again, the results of the chemotherapy were not great, but there was some shrinkage; enough to allow surgery.  The Whipple surgery was done in December, 2017 at Johns Hopkins. The surgeon's report indicated that all margins were clean. Additional post-surgical chemotherapy carried out in the Spring of 2018.  Unfortunately, another CT scan done in April, 2018 for an unrelated problem showed that the cancer had returned and had spread to her liver. More chemo took place in the summer of 2018 in the hope that the cancer could be slowed. 

In mid-summer, we decided that the chemotherapy was doing more harm than good so we stopped all treatments. We enrolled Pam in Hospice on October 4, 2018 and for the next forty-eight days had many visits from a wonderful array of nurses, aids and social workers associated with Hospice of Central New York. Early in the morning of November 21, 2018 Pam quietly took her final breaths at home and with her family - just the way she wanted it to happen. Her funeral service was held on Monday, November 26, 2018.

CaringBridge is a nonprofit social network dedicated to helping family and friends communicate with and support loved ones during a health journey. Learn more about CaringBridge.

To interact with Pam’s website, sign in or register today.

By registering with CaringBridge, you will join over 300,000 people a day who are supporting friends and family members.

Sign In Or Register