Pancreatic cancer stage 4: Mom moved to palliative care
For those following my story… my mom’s surgeon said no to removing Mets from ovary and bladder. Because my mom only has one kidney and due to cancer in the peritoneal area, she’s not a candidate. We’re in shock and I have panic attacks just thinking about what’s to come. Chemo didn’t work to shrink the tumor and I think they’re going to try radiation next. I know palliative care isn’t hospice, but what can we expect? My mom lives alone, but has a great support system where she is. I’ve offered to live together and she’s thinking about it. The thought of losing my mom is unbearable, but maybe now that the fight is over there will be some measure of peace. Anyone have info on what to expect from palliative care?
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Thank you for sharing your very difficult story. Prayers for you in coping with your life's journey and admiring your ability to focus on the blessings we can find in today's life
My dad was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic pancreatic cancer in March. It is now May. We are in Seattle and his oncologist is the director of the pancreatic cancer division at the Fred Hutch/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.
Due to the cancer, he had a cluster of strokes that left him pretty weak, especially on his right side. Because of the weakness, he can't get his chemo. Understandably, cancer treatment is hard on the body so they don't want to give him chemo while he's in rehab. Meanwhile, the cancer is continuing to grow.
My dad had been making progress in rehab but ended up back in the hospital because of a new issue since they haven't able to treat the cancer.
His care team is encouraging him to go into hospice but he is NOT ready. We are not ready. We know this disease is terminal but naturally, we want to buy my dad more time and to extend his life as long as. There are over 600 people following his journey. He is an important spiritual figure in our community.
There has to be SOMETHING that he can do to treat his cancer. I understand that he is weaker than he should to be getting treatment, but he cannot only have 6 months to live (which is what they're predicting). I know there's the concern of quality of life too, but as I suggested, there has to be SOMETHING.
Are there any oncologists out there or people who have been through something similar that can provide any helpful suggestions? PLEASE.
F Cancer. Blessings to everyone fighting this battle. The person fighting and the loved ones.
Have you gotten a 2nd opinion. There are many excellent cancer centers (I think including Mayo but I’m certain the Univ of Chicago does) that will provide a reasonably priced (less that $1,000) second opinion within 7 to 10 days without your dad having to travel there. You just instruct your dads care team to forward all the records/scans etc.
I lost my dad to cancer many years ago and as with my dad there not be anything that can extend his life but I found it at least somewhat easier to accept the outcome knowing that you’ve pursued additional opinions (you can request these from multiple cancer centers and some or all of the costs may be covered by insurance ). I hope you find this information helpful. Can you provide me your dads first name so I can send a prayer up without the undoubted many many others praying for your dad.
Hi I just want to say, I’m really sorry about your dads diagnosis. We’ve had some pretty devastating news with my mother but as mentioned in the other comment, seeking a second opinion for us right now has been a lifeline. We had to fight to get mum the treatment she’s on now (in the UK) and different doctors had different opinions on treatment and staging as well, so this might bring you some relief.
In other news, would immunotherapy be possible for your dad? I’m not sure how bad the side effects are but it might be more tolerable than chemo. Otherwise are there any targeted treatments that would be offered? I don’t know about the pancreas specifically but in some cancers there are proteins expressed by the tumour like Her-2, in which case people can get targeted antibody therapy like herceptin or equivalent. I can’t comment on how bad it would be, but perhaps it’s worth looking at.
Sending you and your family my very best xx