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Dad - the latest


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Hello and thanks for the support following my 'New and confused' post. Things have moved on quite a bit since then...

Dad finally confirmed his decision of not wanting to go ahead with the Whipple. He knew what the decision meant and took it with absolute conviction. It was hard to do, but everyone, including his GP and hospice doctor backed and supported it which he needed.

Following that decision being made, he was admitted for an emergency stent as his jaundice symptoms were getting worse and the GP was concerned that if it was left any longer he wouldn't be fit enough to have it at all. The hope was to improve his quality of life and give him a few weeks/months to enjoy. The stent went well and his jaundice is receeding slowly. However, he is currently an inpatient at the hospice as his health continues to decline and they are assessing him. What led to this was him slipping off his bed onto the floor three nights in a row while attempting to get up to the toilet and being unable to get up, together with his general weakness. Since being admitted on Friday he has slept far more than he has been awake, his hand/eye co-ordination is shot to pieces and his memory has worsened. He now looks very ill.

I really don't know what to expect from one day to the next. I cannot believe how fast things have moved - from a possibly resectable tumour in March to hospice care in May. I don't know whether it is the cancer or other factors accounting for his decline. Is it possible for things to change so very, very quickly? I am grateful that he doesn't have a great deal of pain just yet - lower back pain controlled with cocodamol and the occasional headache seem to be about it. Unless he is not telling me.

Does anyone have a view on this? Is it possible for the cancer to move so fast so quickly or is it more likely to be something else causing the additional difficulties? Anyone had similar?

Thanks in anticipation xx

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Hi Sue and it's good to hear from you again - I only wish it was with better news.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the more aggressive cancers and the decline does tend to be rather quick in the end but I found when Ted had jaundice, he was very tired, his memory wasn't so great and he felt generally pretty unwell. Those symptoms took longer to receed than the obvious colour change, so I truly hope your Dad is now feeling a bit better after the stent insertion and you're seeing some improvement.

Of course, your Dad does have other health factors which might complicate the situation and that might have a bearing on the rather severe effects he's suffering. Have you yet had a chance to speak to his doctor or nurse?

Do keep in touch and let us know how you are both doing.

Our thoughts are with you.

Nicki xx

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