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Healthy for 65 years then PanCan came out of nowhere


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Hello I have been in the shadows reading every single comment that may relate to my dear husbands condition I would like some help in understanding this awful disease, my husband of 43 years was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at the beginning of December 2021 aged 65, he has been through a battery of ultrasounds and CT scans and has had a stent fitted into his biliary duct to relive the jaundice the conclusion of the MDT at Queens Medical Centre is that he is borderline with 25% SMV and less than 25% SMA, he is scheduled for a three to four month campaign of neoadjuvant chemotherapy beginning on March the 2nd using a drug named FOLFIRINOX, the hope and plan is to shrink the tumour away from his portal vein thus enabling him a chance of surgery, could anyone tell me how effective Folfirinox is at shrinking a pancreatic tumour? Thank you.

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Hi NightTrucker


Just thought I’d reach out to you as I know how you feel. It’s a horrible place to be and I feel for you. My then fit & healthy 65 year old husband was diagnosed almost exactly 3 years ago. We were told the tumour was inoperable but that if chemo shrunk it enough there was a chance of a Whipple. 6 months of Folfirinox did a great job of shrinking it away from the SMV &SMA and he was listed for surgery, but a scan on the day before the op showed the tumour had grown again and they couldn’t operate. 


We both had mixed feelings about the op as altho it’s the best chance of extending life it can have a long recovery period. He was well at the time, he only had a few long lasting effects from the chemo and these faded over time  & we enjoyed a pretty normal life. You wouldn’t have known anything was wrong with him. 

The bit you don’t want to hear is that subsequent chemo radiotherapy didn’t have any effect. And we couldn’t go on our planned big trip, but that was thanks to Covid. After that he was put on Gemcap chemo but that didn’t work either. But he remained really well until 6 weeks before he died, 20 months after diagnosis. 

I don’t know what the stats are for having a Whipple after chemo. I guess I’d say try not to get too hung up on it just in case it doesn’t work for your husband. Focus on the now and have as much fun as you can in between the chemo. At least we’re not all stuck at home anymore. 

And any time you need a rant, there’ll always be someone around here to listen. 

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