My name is Ilias, I live in Melbourne, Australia and my mother who just recently turned 70 was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer July 13 2012 (Friday 13th). Mum had a whipples on 21 July 2012 and recovered quite well. She was in hospital for about 4 weeks and then readmitted for a further 2 weeks due to an ecoli infection.
Before she was diagnosed, I thought cancer was cancer. However, reading and researching this cancer shocked me and the rest of my family. The doctor said it was a cancer you didn't want to get, but looking at the scans she was most likely a candidate for surgery. The doctor outlined most patients when diagnosed are too advanced and surgery was not an option.
Long story short, she had her appointment with Dr Zimet (oncologist) of Epworth in Richmond. He was happy with her recovery and told us that he had a plan and hope for recovery. He told us that her case was investigated for some weeks before they came up with a conclusion that the cancer was bile duct cancer. He said it was still bad, but not as bad as pancreatic cancer. We were told her staging was stage iib. The cancer had spread to the pancreas and some nearby lymph nodes.
His plan was to put her on 5FU daily through a picc??? and offer radiation through Dr Pat Bowden at Epworth for 6 weeks. He then said she would go on a course of gemzar after the 5FU.
Before coming to work this morning, I stopped by my mums to see how she was. She has started her treatment and is heading into her 3rd week. The treatment seems to be hitting her really hard. The doctors and nurses told us that the 5FU is gentle and the radiation would be the main factor contributing to the fatigue and nausea.
As I am writing this, my hands are shaking and I am finding it hard to breathe. I cannot clear my mind of this day and night. I do find comfort through my wife, children, father and this forum. I don't want to exclude anybody from this post, but I would love to hear from those patients and caregivers who are in a similar situation.
Cheers and love to all.