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Hello. I am new to this forum and have spent most of the morning looking through posts. My 73 year old mum got jaundice in August and after lots of tests a tumour on the head of her pancreas was discovered. She was told it was small and no evidence of spread and could have the whipple op to try to remove it. She had surgery last Thursday where it was discovered that the cancer has spread to her liver and they could not do whipple. Instead they decided to do a bypass op which will apparently relieve problems later when the pancreas tumour grows. The doctor says she is very unlucky as the tumour on pancreas is still small. She doesn't have much spread to her liver yet but we have already been told that they can't cure it and any further treatment will be palliative. We have to wait until she has recovered from surgery before we see an oncologist to discuss treatment options. I don't understand how this can happen when she has been so fit and well (apart from jaundice) all the time. Even the day before her op mum was walking a mile and eating a big roast dinner! I am so devastated by this news and am finding even getting out of bed an effort at the moment. I can be very strong and positive in front of my mum in hospital but falling apart the rest of the time. I feel anger upset and depressed as if the world is ending all at the same time. Can anyone give me hope that this will pass and I will be able to cope soon as I need to stay strong for the next step. Also does palliative mean mum doesn't have much time left and I should prepare for this? Any help and support needed please.

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PCUK Nurse Jeni

Hi Egerrish,

So sorry to hear about your mums diagnosis.

I will email you directly to cover some of your questions.

Kind regards,


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I am so very sorry to hear about your mum. You must be devastated to be first given some hope that she could be treated to then hear that the outlook is not so good. I guess that none of the medical team have talked about timescales and it may be that they do not know for sure how quickly, or slowly, the disease will progress - it is a very difficult disease to predict unfortunately and everyone is very different in any case. So sorry I cannot be of any help but I totally understand your need to prepare for what's ahead and to want to help your mum as much as possible. You will no doubt continue to feel all that you are currently feeling but I promise you that you will continue to find the strength to cope and you will continue to be a great support for your mum, even if you feel like you are going to fall apart at any moment.

Know that you have found a place where people understand exactly what you are going through and will always be here for you whenever you need to talk, rant, cry, ask questions. So very sorry that we cannot do any more.

I am sure Jeni will have helped by contacting you directly - she was a tower of strength for me when I needed it most.

Sending you lots of love and strength.



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