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Diagnosed at a very late stage


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Sun 25th Oct 2020 - 3 weeks ago today, my 78 year old widowed father was walking, talking and fending for himself.

Fast forward to Sun 15th November and the same man is bed bound and probably hasn’t got long left to live.

My father suddenly became unwell 3 weeks ago - he began shaking, was pale, feeling sick and just looked very unwell. A family friend had called in to see him and called me to come over.

I took the decision to take him to our local A & E.

After initial assessment they kept him for further tests. A couple of hours later the hospital phoned to advise that my Dad would be staying overnight for more tests and to be kept in for observations.

Tues 27th Oct - a doctor phoned at 8.30pm at night - I was advised that my father had an enlarged pancreas and nodules in his lungs....no messing about, I asked could it be PC. Doctor advised that they needed more tests to be sure.

Friday 30th Oct - Dad had the ERCP prodecure - they put a stent in the bile duct, took biopsies and images of his pancreas.

Finally on Thursday 5th Nov and with Dad still in hospital, he was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, which had already spread to his lungs, lymph nodes and liver.

Basically he is not well enough for any treatment so would be discharged so that we could care for him at home.

Initially he was walking quite well but his condition started to deteriorate and by Friday 13th Nov, my Dad was discharged to come home.

He is now bed bound, has carers 4 times a day, daily visits from the District nurses and he is fading before our eyes.


I have moved in with my Dad to be there for him during what might be his last few weeks.

I had heard how nasty this disease could be, but now I am living the nightmare that others have already been through.

He isn’t in any pain as such, just sleeping most of the day.

Still getting to grips with things after receiving his diagnosis and now dealing with his daily care....it is relentless.

My Dad has experienced ongoing symptoms since being diagnosed with pancreatitis 5 years ago.....but no one has ever joined the dots. I wasn’t aware of all the symptoms - if so, maybe I would have pushed him to the doctors sooner.

Hopefully my post will help others, but if in doubt get a second opinion.

Pancreatic cancer is a hidden killer, don’t let it be diagnosed too late.

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Don’t blame yourself Motherhen. My husband was diagnosed really early. He hardly had any symptoms beyond vague abdominal discomfort. The tumour hadn’t spread outside the pancreas. He was healthy and strong. But because of the position of the tumour he couldn’t have surgery. He had 6 months of chemo, 6 weeks of chemo radiotherapy, and 3 months more chemo. But the cancer still spread. He died 21 months after diagnosis. It’s a vicious and cruel disease and even an early diagnosis is no guarantee of survival.

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PCUK Nurse Lisa

Dear Motherhen,

Welcome to the Discussion Forum. I am sorry to hear of the rapid decline of your dear father to this cruel disease. Thank you for sharing your story, and I hope you get lots of wonderful support from the Forum Family here.

Please also know we have a Specialist Nursing Support Line, should you need any further support at this difficult time. Our thoughts are with you.

Best wishes,


Pancreatic Cancer Nurse Specialist

Freephone: 0808 801 0707

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Thank you for your reply & offer of support.

The carers are doing a brilliant job and between us all, Dad is comfortable in his own home, which is what he wanted.

Thanks again,

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  • 1 month later...

My husband was diagnosed on the 22nd October this year, PC with liver mets and lung nodules. I marched him out of that hospital as he didn’t want to be there and nursed him at home. He was brave and strong and kind to the end. He passed on the 26th October this year. We had 4 days! It’s a cruel disease. Cruel for him, cruel for me and our two children 11 and 8. We just didn’t know, and neither did he.

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