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I posted recently about my husband being diagnosed at the end of June and the rapid decline in his health. It has been such a rollercoaster ride with emotions being squeezed out of myself and his children. He was admitted to hospital recently with an infection and was extremely unwell. Family and friends were called to his bedside to say their goodbyes. The next day, he was sitting up in his chair and things didn't look quite so bad. Last Wednesday he was transferred to a care home nearby, the decision having been taken not to continue any treatment but to keep him comfortable. He was not considered suitable for admission to the local hospice whose criteria he did not meet. During all this time he has gradually become more and more confused and is becoming fixated on certain things, eg the television remote and how it works, the bedside clock and what time it is, where everything is placed on his bedside table. I just wondered if this is a common side-effect with pancreatic cancer and if anyone else has experienced this. It is so terribly upsetting to see him struggle not only with the effects of the cancer but now this confusion.

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PCUK Nurse Rachel R

Hi JaneL,

My name is Rachel, I'm one of the nurses that works on the support service, I hope you don't mind me replying to your post.

I am sorry to hear that your Husband's condition is declining and that you are encountering things such as confusion. It can be very difficult and distressing to see your loved one like this.

Confusion can occur for many reasons and is often seen in the late stages of cancer. It can be caused by things such as an infection, side effects of medicines, pain, issues with bowels or changes in the chemical balance in the body, such as high calcium levels. Sometimes cancer can spread to the brain causing confusion, however this is not a common place for pancreatic cancer to spread to.

I do hope that your Husband is being well cared for. Are you able to chat to anybody at the care home about the confusion?

You are very welcome to give us a call on the support service or email us if you would like to chat further - contact details are below.

Kind wishes to you, Rachel

Rachel Richardson

Pancreatic Cancer Specialist Nurse

Support Team

Pancreatic Cancer UK

email: nurse@pancreaticcancer.org.uk

support line: 0808 801 0707

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