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ashc101
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2019 6:33 pm

Does it get easier?

Postby ashc101 » Tue Jan 22, 2019 3:54 pm

Hello everyone

When I first stumbled upon this site, I thought it was one of the best and one of the worst things that I have come across. The people on here are so kind, strong and brave but it saddens me to see so many facing the cruelty of this malicious disease.

I'll start by saying that I don't know what I'm looking for as I write this. Perhaps some kind of support from people who really know the depth of what my family and I are facing, some kind of cathartic relief just from writing all of this out or an actual answer to: does this journey actually ever get any easier? I'm not sure. But here goes nothing:

My father is 62 years old and he was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma in the head of the pancreas a year and 3 months ago.
The GP examined him and scheduled a blood test and an ultrasound the next day. After he did the ultrasound, the technician handed me the report and when I read it and saw "Pancreatic cancer" listed as the diagnosis, all hell broke loose.

I specifically remember the sheer panic I felt because I knew what those words mean.

I suppose I've rambled enough by now, but I do want to ask: Has anyone who cares for a loved one ever felt down and what did you do to pick yourself up? Also, does it ever get easier?
Last edited by ashc101 on Wed Jan 23, 2019 7:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PCUK Nurse Jeni
Posts: 1055
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 1:30 pm

Re: Does it get easier?

Postby PCUK Nurse Jeni » Tue Jan 22, 2019 4:23 pm

Hello ash,

Welcome to the forum, and I am sorry that such sad circumstances have brought you to this site.

I am sorry to hear about your dad and the issues he has been struggling with since the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. You do seem to have a lot on your plate along with studying for your final exams in medicine - a difficult and challenging time for you. I know that you will probably get replies and some support on here from the wonderful forum family, but also wanted to encourage you to touch base with the nurses should you need to. Our contact details are below.

Kindest regards,

Jeni.


Jeni Jones
Pancreatic Cancer Specialist Nurse
Support Team
Pancreatic Cancer UK
email: nurse@pancreaticcancer.org.uk
support line: 0808 801 0707

Charlie81
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2019 5:06 pm

Re: Does it get easier?

Postby Charlie81 » Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:33 am

We are only starting our Journey, my Dad is 64, I have two small children 2 and 4, and my mum and my dad celebrated their ruby wedding last year and I am their only child. My parents and I are heavily involved in each others lives. I chose my house to be near them. They are constantly popping round, helping with jobs, on hand with advice. We go on holiday together every year and I was living in a bubble of I am lucky: I have a charmed life because I have the people I love. Now I don't know how to function. I found out two weeks ago. Not yet fully staged. We know stage three but could be stage IV. This is cruel and this is horrible. I am not much help but I am in a similar position so there is some solidarity in that. I think I cope at the moment by not giving up hope. Hope that your loved one could be one of those people who just inexplicably get better. There are cases out there where stage IV people just go dormant or into remission. I know it's rare and unlikely but I hope for it or I hope that the chemo will shrink it and surgery will be an option. Or I count my blessings!! That we have had a beautiful and wonderful life together and some people don't have that but that these thoughts are double edged sometimes because when I try and console myself I am not sure how my Dad can console himself? I know that he is getting everything in order. My dad, true to form, is making sure that me and my mum and my boys will be okay if he isn't here. He wants me to build an extension on my house for my mum to live in, which I am happy to do. I also hope for some more good times. I have children and they allow me to think about a future where I can be happy because I have to be for them and that helps but then those thoughts are also guilt laden because me rebuilding my life without my Dad would mean he is no longer with us and I know he doesn't have the luxury of those thoughts. I am sorry that every single person on this forum is going through what they are going through. I wish you strength and I hope we all beat this thing. I am sorry I could not help you more. xx

toodotty
Posts: 165
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:17 pm

Re: Does it get easier?

Postby toodotty » Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:12 pm

Hi Ashc101,
I am stage IV PC 56 wife and mother to two young adults. My husband has been totally crushed by the diagnosis and I know spent weeks sobbing in private, he was totally shredded. I would see him walking about with his head bowed and the weight of the world on his shoulders. We had been talking about planning our retirement together, maybe travelling a bit, (we didn't have gap years when we were young), and just generally spending more us time. To be honest he lost it for a while, was in a total fog and couldn't function at all.

Once I was in treatment and started to improve then some of the shadows began to lift and life has returned to more normality. Once we both started to realise that some people do live more than the requisite 4 months then there was the possibility of hope. We have accepted that I won't see 60 but we have had a good 6 months and look forward to the time that we have together. It is never going to be easy but accept that as a carer it is sometimes even tougher for you as you will be feeling totally helpless and useless, both of which won't be true.

For me, I just want my family to try and get on with their lives as the closer to normality things are the easier to deal with the enormity of the situation. I haven't yet managed this with my mother who has a face like a wet Sunday and when visits sits and looks morose the whole time. Sorry but this doesn't help me even if I know that she is worried. Don't be afraid to seek help and to talk to other carers.

I hope this helps,


Erika

Charlie81
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2019 5:06 pm

Re: Does it get easier?

Postby Charlie81 » Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:43 pm

Erika,

I know that this post wasn't meant for me but I find all your responses inspiring, helpful, and hopeful.

Thank you,

Charlotte

toodotty
Posts: 165
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:17 pm

Re: Does it get easier?

Postby toodotty » Sun Jan 27, 2019 3:49 pm

Hi Charlotte,

I am glad this has helped you. People tend to forget that when one person is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer that more than one person is seriously affected by the diagnosis. I really do feel it is harder for everyone else to absorb and cope with. When I am gone that is it, but everyone else must carry on and try and rebuild their lives without bitterness and I pray with some hope. Death is an integral part of life, something we all have to face, I have been blessed so far and for that I am thankful.


Keep strong and just embrace each day,


Erika

PCUK Nurse Jeni
Posts: 1055
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 1:30 pm

Re: Does it get easier?

Postby PCUK Nurse Jeni » Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:31 am

Hello All,

I just wanted to post a short message of thanks to Erika for her inspiring and insightful words of wisdom on this thread. Truly an encouragement I am sure - and to have such a positive outlook when facing such difficult times, Erika, you are truly amazing.

Thank you for all that you have given to everyone else on these forums and I am sure everyone you meet in hospital as well.

From us all.


Jeni Jones
Pancreatic Cancer Specialist Nurse
Support Team
Pancreatic Cancer UK
email: nurse@pancreaticcancer.org.uk
support line: 0808 801 0707

toodotty
Posts: 165
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:17 pm

Re: Does it get easier?

Postby toodotty » Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:53 am

Thank you Jeni.

Erika