magdem's Journey:

Patient: Pancreatic Cancer

Patient Info: Diagnosed: about 5 years ago, Female, Age: 59

  1. 1
    • magdem
    • Experience with Pancreatic Cancer
    about 5 years ago
    magdem's Avatar

    Got my first appointment at MD Anderson Cancer Center

    Celebration

    After initial diagnosis 3 weeks ago, spent first week in complete daze and shock. Second week started trying to get in at MD Anderson, and since I feel well, started doubting diagnosis (wishful thinking). Put some pressure on my doctor's office to get the ball rolling by sending my test results to MD Anderson. Got word that my first appointment is next Wednesday and when I got home, checked email and they had rescheduled and moved it up 2 days to Monday. I finally feel something is happening. Just sitting here waiting was unnerving. Kudos to Ola, the lady at my doctor's office who helped me get my test results to MD Anderson and then called me everyday to see if I had the appointment. She also contacted them regularly to find out the status. I felt she had made me her mission. Thank you, Ola!

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  2. 2
    • magdem
    • Experience with Pancreatic Cancer
    about 5 years ago
    magdem's Avatar

    Cholecystostomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Had ERCP in July to place a temporary plastic stent in common bile duct to relive blockage. Stent was replaced Sept. 5, another ERCP, with another temporary stent since they were going to remove everything during the Whipple on Sept. 11. But had blood clot, so everthing was cancelled. Now plastic stent is preventing bile to flow out of gall bladder, so they did a cholecystostomy, tube placement in gall bladder since it eas 3 X's the size it should be and painful. Although they explained what they were going to do, I guess it didn't really register in my brain. I knew they would keep me overnight for observation, but I thought I'd just jump right out of bed and head on out of there the next morning. Procedure went well, but OMG, the PAIN. Why did I think this was not going to be painful? Oh, and the bag, yes, I knew I'd have one, but I guess I thought it would be invisible. But no, it's hanging there, next to my knee, looks like we're goinna be buddies for awhile. But back to THE PAIN, if I lie on my back, and don't breathe, cough, talk, laugh, or f--t, I'm OK and pain free. But, if I do any of these things I feel like the victim on some Law and Order episode being stabbed in the side. And of course when you can't do it, your body wants to. I'm also a tummy and right side sleeper, so that's out, and it's all I can think about. Then there's - THE BAG. I'm not a good patient, but I'm an even worse caregiver. I can't stand the sight of blood and body fluids, it makes me take out the nausea medicine. So they taught me how to empty this thing which must be done daily and measured. Can't I just pour it in the toilet without looking - nooooo - I have to pour it in a little measuring cup and keep a daily journal, then flush out the line. This stuff looks like tomato juice, which I used to love and will never drink again. My hat is off to all those nurses and caregivers who do these things on a regular basis, I'm just a wuss, sad, but true. This thing is going to stay in place until they do the Whipple sometime in December, oh, but next week they do another ERCP to replace the temporary plastic stent with a permanent metal one. Yippeee!!! All jokes aside, I'm truly grateful that all of these procedures are available and I will gladly trade a little discomfort and pain for my life. I thank God, my doctors and my family for being with me throughout this journey. And I thank all of you for this forum.

    Went as Expected: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    2 Comments
  3. 3
    • magdem
    • Experience with Pancreatic Cancer
    almost 5 years ago
    magdem's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Started 500mg Xeloda 3 x morning, 4 x evening, October 8th. First week no side effects whatsoever. Second week am struggling with daily nausea. Have Odansetron (Zofran) and Prochlorperazine (Compazine). Isn't helping. I have to take the Xeloda before I go in for radiation and that is normally scheduled between 6:10 and 6:20 AM. I am supposed to take the Xeloda with food, but it is very difficult for me to eat so early in the morning. I force myself to eat some yogurt or drink some Ensure, but it takes all my concentration to keep it down. If I vomit after taking the Xeloda they told me I would just have to skip that dose, but I don't want that to happen, in my mind I need all the cancer killing help I can get. I think I'd rather lose my hair than have this nausea 24/7.

    Easy to Do: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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  4. 4
    • magdem
    • Experience with Pancreatic Cancer
    almost 5 years ago
    magdem's Avatar

    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    Finished chemo and radiation the morning of November 15th. Was in the car driving home after 2 1/2 months 2 hours later. Was so glad to be going home for the holidays. After this experience I have decided that if I had to do it over again I would definitely do my treatment at home. Two and a half months in a small hotel room, away from family and friends was almost too much to bear. The last week was very rough as I fell into a really bad depression due to the isolation and side effects. Have been home for 3 weeks now and am trying to live in the moment but it's getting more and more difficult. Whipple surgery is scheduled for January 8th and I'm becoming more and more anxious. Overwhelmed with the "what ifs". Having trouble sleeping because my thoughts just keep straying. I'm scared. Please share how you have coped with these feelings. Should I ask my doctor for some kind of medication? I do wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!

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