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Jun 30, 2018 Latest post:
Jul 2, 2018
After no appetite, weight loss, and on and off stomach pain for a few weeks, mom made a Drs appt. They started with colonoscopy and an endoscopy. The results all came back fine. The following week on 6/6, she had an Xray and CT scan scheduled. Her gastro dr called the next day and said they found a mass and he was very concerned with how it looked and that he wanted us to come to a specific doctor at University of Penn who specializes in this. By this time she was becoming jaundiced and her eyes and body were getting worse by the day. We came to Penn and they biopsied the mass on Thursday June 14th and found out the following Monday it was pancreatic cancer. Sunday the 24th mom was up off and on all night vomiting blood and felt weak. Of course she didn't tell me till 7 am. I went over and called her GI dr and they said to come to Penn. We got her in the bathroom to wash her up and when we were done she was incredibly weak, could not walk, and I knew I had to call an ambulance. The EMT's took her to St Marys where they stabilized her and transferred her by ambulance to Penn. Because she was critical they made sure a nurse was also in the ambulance. Once at Penn, she was admitted to the ICU. She was still vomiting huge blood clots and the following day they did a procedure and found out the bleeding was from the esophagus. They banded it to stop the bleeding and wanted to see how she was healing before doing a procedure to drain the biliary. Her bile duct is blocked which is causing the jaundice and other issues. ---- She was transferred to a step down unit on tuesday the 26th and she has been exhausted and sleeping a lot since. On the morning of the 29th she was supposed to finally have the procedure done. However during the night her hemoglobin count went down and they were worried there was more internal bleeding. Her stomach was distended as well but they didn't feel comfortable treating this at this time due to her safety. They started to give her another blood transfusion and her blood pressure dropped and continued to do so. They had to call the rapid response team/emergency medical professionals to the bedside to decide what the next step was and they were able to bring her blood pressure up. She was then transferred to the ICU again. They were unsure if she was having an allergic reaction to the blood transfusion, if there was internal bleeding, (or both) or if there was an infection somewhere. Back in ICU they put another NG tube in her nose and were able to drain 3+ liters of blood/bile from her belly. After being here all day, they did a procedure at the bedside to take some of the fluid out of her stomach where they sent it to the lab to be tested for infection. The results could take up to 48 hours. Then IR called and finally felt she was stable enough for them to take her to the OR for the biliary drainage. Sometimes she is completely understanding what is going on and can answer any and all questions and other times she is confused. They are unsure if this is because of medication, her being tired, loss of blood or infection.
We also have found out the cancer is in advanced stages and has spread to her stomach and bottom left lung. They want to discuss chemo with her after she is done these procedures and starts to feel a bit better. Her plan is to have her primary oncologist here at Penn, and do treatments at St. Marys. As of right now we can only hope and pray that she gets stronger and comes home. I will continue to update daily because its easier to reach everyone.