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hi my name is sharon and I have just lost my dad to pancreatic cancer.

On 20th of April my dad rings me to say that he has had diarrhea and a pain in his lower back on and off all week so he decides to make a appointment to see the doctor.

He rings me at 5pm and says that the doctor has rang back and says that he has very high sugar levels and raised liver results and needs to go into hospital straight away.

We get to the hospital and they settle my dad in(my dad is feeling fine and feels a fraud when there are a lot of men in there who have had major surgery.

For the first couple of days dad just has his blood and temperature checked and then keeps asking when he can go home as he feels better.

The doctors notice that he has gone slightly yellow around the eyes and nose.

They then decide to send him for a scan and after a few days we still don't know what is actually wrong with him.

after about a week of being in hospital my dad starts to go off his food and jaundice sets in big style(even his eyes are yellow)

we have a chat with the doctor and he decides to send dad for a MRI scan at this point dad is starting to get very week and is still not eating(losing a lot of weight.)

The doctors talk to us and say that they need to put a stent in to relieve the jaundice.

At this point we still think dad is being treated for type 1 diabetes as he is having insulin injections.

Dad goes down for his stent operation and that is when things really start to go down hill.

The next day I go in to see him with my family and we get there to find him with 100% oxygen blood pressure very low and a high temperature.

They said that dad has caught a infection from the stent operation and is given antibiotics.

Dad is ill for the next week and the consultant is concerned that the jaundice is no better and that the stent is blocked.

On the Friday morning the consultant says that he wants a family meeting that afternoon.

My brother rings up really concerned asking why the consultant want a family meeting and me being nyeve says its all about what they are going to do next regarding dads care.

We all get in to the hospital for 12.30 and the consultant is held up in theatre and does not see us until 13.45.

He said that all the test had come back(12 days later)and that they had discovered a mass around the pancreas.

The consultant said to my mum that it must of been in the back of our minds that dad had cancer.

I exploded and ran out of the room I could not believe the news that we had all been given.

After 10mins I came back in to find dad numb from the news.

Then after that his health deteriorated and the consultant decided to put another stent in.

That night at 9.30 we had a phone call from the hospital to say that dad vital signs we bad and that we needed to get to the hospital.

Dad had caught a lung infection and was fighting for every breath.

They gave him antibiotics and at around 1.30am he picked back up and we were told to go home.

After a few days the jaundice disappeared and he got a bit stronger.

After 5 weeks of being in hospital dad was allowed to come home and was given a hospital appointment to see the oncologist.

After the appointment dad said that because of his age (65) and that he would not be cured he decide to not go for the chemo.

The district nurses and Macmillan nurses came out when needed trying to help dad with his food as he was finding it hard to keep any food down.

After being home for 2 weeks he had to go back into the local hospital to have some iv fluids.

It was awful to watch my dad deteriote day by day.

On July 29th it was my dad's birthday and he was glad to see all the family and to watch the cricket.

We stayed for a

few hours and then I said to my dad that I would call in as I did every

morning before going to work.

My mum rang me at 4.45am to say that dad could not stop being sick and to get down.

My husband said to my mum as I went through the door to ring for the ambulance.

I got there at 5.15 and the paramedic was with dad.

He said that dad had passed away before he could get there(he took 4 Min's as he was waiting for a call around the corner).

Mum said that she had put dad to bed after being sick on the toilet and he said that he needed his oramorph as he had a bad pain in his chest.

Mum ran down the stairs and straight back up but dad was no longer breathing.

The paramedic said that dad had died very quickly.

We had the funeral on Wednesday and it was the hardest thing that I ever had to do I still can't believe he has gone and I feel so empty.

Before dad became ill he was 6tf 2 and weighed 12 stone when he died he weighed under 8 stone.

4 stones in weight lost in 12 weeks 3 days.

What a cruel and vicious disease.


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You have been through such an awful time. You are right this is the most cruel thing you have ever had to witness. I lost my sister almost 6 months ago to PC - she was 33. She was diagnosed in November and died in March. Those last few weeks were the most difficult thing I have ever had to experience, watching her waste away, the weight loss the pain and being so utterly helpless. You must feel so awful right now. My thoughts are with you and your family, it is such a difficult time. Try to be strong and try not to have any expectations just take each day...

I wish there was something more encouraging I could say. Im so sorry.

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Hi Sharon

What can I say, so very sorry to hear about your Dad. This is such an awful disease that very few people know about and is really difficult to diagnose early due to such vague symptoms.

My mum had surgery in April 05 for a cancer in the tail of her pancreas but it was an odd type called squamous cell and the doctors said it could not be the primary tumour and must be a secondary from else where.

Well we still don't know where and she isn't too bad although she has a lot of pain still and bowel syptoms.

I have a bit of an idea what you have been through as I can't bear it when mum is ill and she has been really poorly, lost 3 stone and was so weak, we only hope and pray it doesn't return.

You have been so brave and I will think of you all and hope you find the strength to cope.


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Hi Princess

Thankyou so much for your kind message.

I am so sorry to hear about your sister,how are you doing?

Did your sister have any treatment?

I wish my dad would of had the treatment,I keep thinking he may still be here if he had.

Anyway take care of yourself


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Hi Sharon

Thank you for your reply and for your concern. Mum is not bad, she came round last night for tea and to have her hair cut. She has been on to the Doctor and he has told her to put 2 patches on to double the dose of Morphine to see if that will control the pain.

She does look tired though, I hope she's alright, sometimes I think she is and then I can't help worrying the pain is due to a recurrence and that I was naive to think we had cured her! Still we won't know til the scan at the beginning of Sept.

It's like being on an emotional roller coaster.


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Hi Sharon

Thanks for replying.

Im doing okay - whatever that is. Its as is my life has completely changed - im sure you feel the same - everything is different. Its so hard.


Yes my sister had about 6 sessions of chemo - she had a combination of Gemcitabine & Capecitabine but after the 6 weeks they said it was not working. She then had a few weeks break and was supposed to be starting a new regime but in those few weeks she became very weak and was never able to start it.

I would try not to beat yourself up about your whether your dad should have had treatment or not. I have so many questions, what ifs and whys. As the months go by I just realise that it was not in our control. I too think what if she didnt have the chemo - would her last months have been any happier or easier. I just dont know it was all too quick. None of us had been in this situation before. I think the main thing was that she knew we were there for her as Im sure your dad did too.

We created a memorial website for my sister - it really helped as everyone gets to post pictures and thoughts and leave messages - the pictures help you to relive all the good times instead of going over and over those final days & weeks. Let me know if you want me to send you the link for the website we used.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Sharon,

Thanks for your concern, Mum is not too bad at present. She is still in some considerable pain though, she is on Morphine patches which are not helping much, which Jo my anaesthetist friend says is a good indication that the pain is not due to recurrence but to inflammation following the surgery. We will know on Thursday when we go for the scan results. I am a bit worried though and will be so relieved if the results come back clear.


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Hi All

Just wanted to update you on Mums scan results. It's bad news and good.

She has a mass about 4cms on her left side where she has been getting pain and the oncologist said he thought it looked suspicious, it is in between her ribs and would be causing the pain.

He said he would ring with the blood results and let her know if she needs a biopsy before radio therapy.

He did ring and thankfully the cancer markers are not up {ca 19} so it could be just fibrous tissue. She is awaiting a biopsy, hopefully this week which she is not looking forward to as the area is very painfull normally. She said she hopes they let me in with her whilst she has it , I hope they don't! as I think it will make her worse if I am there.

We feel a lot better for knowing what is causing the pain and hope the cancer hasn't returned, but if it has they are quite hopeful that radio therapy will sort it out.


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