I am still trying to understand this. How is it that one month ago, in the hospital, they only saw the bile duct tumor- nothing in the pancreas in the MRI or other imaging. In fact things looked good enough that they thought they could wait on the Whipple surgery for her to have her knee fracture surgery first.
Then a month later another MRI finds pancreatic cancer that is so advanced that it is no longer resectable. Did it grow that fast? Was it a bad MRI in the hospital? Was it misread? I know, I know. MRI's don't show everything. I tell my patients that. But it is different when you are on the other side of that fact.
I also don't know what my mother should do. When it was bile duct cancer that hadn't spread- the surgery was a no-brainer. But now I don't know. Pancreatic cancer has pretty bad outcomes no matter what you do, do you want to spend that time getting chemo and surgery that might buy you a few months or at most a year or two if you are really lucky?
From what I am reading, there are two categories- and I'm not sure what category she is in. Borderline resectable might do okay with chemo first and then surgery. It might give her some time. But if she is in the locally advanced category, then even if they shrink the tumors enough to have the surgery- which is less likely- it won't even give her as much time.
And then mom really wants to go the alternative medicine route. And when it comes to pancreatic cancer, I am not sure I disagree. I don't think that conventional medicine has much to offer. Especially if you are not a surgical candidate.
But this is why we need a second opinion. And in the end it is her cancer, her life, and she is going to handle it the way she feels is best.