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What to Expect


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i wondered if any of you could help me, i am in a difficult position. My mother was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer some 2 years ago. Over Christmas of 2008 she had a Whipple operation and then subsequently some Chemotherapy. Last year she told me in July that the tumor was still there and that the Doctors were not going to do any more for her. they gave her 8 months to live.

I live 150 miles a way from my mum, she is Italian, does not particularly understand a great deal of the terminology, wants to stay in her own house and refuses a lot of the help i try to give her. I can't get to see her as often as i want due to work commitments, but speak with her every day. I went to see her yesterday and run a few errands, i was shocked to see how much weight she has lost over the last month. She tries to go out every day but struggles between back ache and toilet worries on the bus into her local town. She goes to the local Hospice once a week and is a very independent woman. I have asked her to let me know what stage her cancer is at and to ask the specialist when she goes, but she does not or says she cant remember what they said. I can't decide if she does not want to tell me or she genuinely does not know.

my problem is, how do i know, or when do i know it is getting more severe? what is her outlook as she has gone over the 8 months she was initially given? how am i best to help her as i live so far away and want to make sure i am available when she really needs me, i know she won't tell me. I am sort of asking what should i expect to happen next and how long should it take. Am i able to call her specialist and ask him?

i just want to help in any way i can, but not sure of what , how or when!

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Penny, thanks for the reply, i have been out of the country for work.

To respond to you Questions, yes she is in the UK, and they decided that last year there was nothing else they could do for her surgically, she has had a session of about 8 Chemo's, she did not tolerate them very well. She has said she does not want any more, She saw the Specialist this week while i was away, she wont ask him what stage or how long she should expect to live. She told me he was really nice to her and gave her a big hug, and said he would see her again in 2 months, I am not sure how or what to read in to this!

she take s enzymes and Immodium and codine, although she is not best at taking drugs.

She lives alone, i think she has secondary in her lungs, she has nurses that go in and see her every other week, and she goes to the Hospice once a week.

i am going to try and get to see her again this week

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