Sunday, August 9, 2015

I can't imagine what my mom is going through

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.


Unknown said...

I think pancreatic cancer is able to hide. I remember someone who had nothing show on imaging and a month later it was there on a routine chest x-ray for mild pneumonia and had big mets throughout her spine.

I know there have been some clinical trials that have had some success. I worked with one man who'd had a pretty long remission on one (3 years?) although he required ongoing treatment but it was low-side effect. I of course have no idea what this study was.

I hope that she finds out that chemo with resection is possible. I totally understand wanting to go alternative with this though. I hope she can find someone really well-trained in alternative techniques that can help.

How are you doing now?

Unknown said...

How are you doing? How is your mom?


Jean Grey said...

I am having my bad moments and my not-so-bad moments so that is an improvement. We are going for a second opinion tomorrow, still don't know what she is doing.

Unknown said...

I'm thinking about you and praying for you and your mom. Please know that even if I don't check in every day. I'm trying but my mind is pretty messed up right now.