Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated. Since the journal has been slow in coming, we have given a history of the last couple of months in the first journal update.. Be sure to read the latest in the journal updates to come and see our photos that we will post soon! We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement.
June 9, 2017, Rose was hospitalized with pain in abdomen and uncontrolled blood sugar, and just very tired and not feeling well. Preliminary tests suggested a mass in the pancreas and was referred to a gastro dr for more tests.
June--Rose had biopsy on pancreas, and a permanent stent was placed in the pancreas due to the mass blocking the opening in the pancreas. She had just started turning yellow and the stent cleared that up. On 06/23/17, the pathology report came back, pancreatic cancer. Within a week Rose met with an oncologist. Due to the tumor being inoperable, and her overall age and health, Rose will likely choose a form of treatment that would give her some relief and hopefully destroy the tumor, but not so hard on her as to cause her such weakness as to be ill and hospitalized. She will have more tests.
07/15/17—Rose’s granddaughter, Elizabeth, planned a family picnic. Lots of family and some friends came out to the picnic. We had people from as far away as St. Louis and Wichita show up. It was great to see so many people put everything on hold for a bit, just to make family a priority for a day. Rose had a great time.
July --Rose finished up the tests, at least for now. They say it is Stage 2 and does not appear to have spread beyond the pancreas; however, it is possible that it spread and it is too small to detect (they called it a micrometastases) They said pancreatic cancer is one that is very likely to spread. At this point, both doctors (radiologist and oncologist) do not believe she can tolerate much more than mild radiation to slow it/shrink it and if she tolerates well, she can consider something more in the future. Since she has lost so much weight and so tired already, she does not want anything too hard on her. Her spirits are pretty good, all things considered. Our Energizer Bunny—well she is quite a trooper.
08/17/17--Cancer is a roller coaster ride—with your eyes shut! Rose finished her radiation treatments on August 4 and was pretty tired the week of and the week after the treatments.
We visited the oncologist today, mostly a follow up (or as I like to say, a way for the doctor to get another co-pay ) --but we actually did get some questions answered and know a little what to expect for the next couple weeks/months.
The oncologist said they will do a CT scan in October. At that time they can see if/and how well the radiation worked and whether or not the cancer has spread. They are still recommending no chemo as they feel certain mom would wind up very ill in hospital with chemo—a poor quality of life.
Mom’s energy level is beginning to slowly improve and the Dr does expect that over the next few weeks, her energy level will continue to improve and her overall physical well being to improve. Mom has a lot of pain in her legs/hips right now. Dr believes this is not the cancer, but just that she did get fairly ill and run down over the last few months. Exercise, and possibly even physical therapy should help. Mom has started trying to move more and exercise the last couple of days, just to get her legs moving well, and she feels it will help to improve her movement and muscle loss. Our little energizer bunny is just not used to moving slow!
When we asked expectations--Dr did say she expects mom to gradually improve over the next weeks/months and expects her to have more months of feeling well. How many? We don’t know, but then do any of us really know how long we have?