• How has Pancreatic Cancer Affected You and your loved ones?

    Asked by cb456 on Sunday, February 17, 2013

    How has Pancreatic Cancer Affected You and your loved ones?

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • joyce's Avatar

      My Husband of 37 years was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in October 2011. It has impacted every fiber of my being. Initially, I thought I would not be able to deal with it, but somehow, I guess you find a way to do so. Instead of focusing on planning our retirement together, I am now focusing on trying to find ways to regain his health and prolong his life. To date he is cancer free, but is suffering severe effects from the radiation.

      I have always been the eternal optimist, but now view optimism in a different way. Unlike many other people on this site, I do not feel that maintaining a positive attitude at all costs is necessary. I believe optimism should be tempered with realism and that cancer patients and caregivers should both be allowed to grieve, without being made to feel guilty for it. I grieve the loss of lives the way they were and our future as we had planned it.

      That is not to say there aren't also positives. I have found strength I didn't know I had. We have received love and support from so many. I have made a very dear friend from this website. I've learned to take advantage of every minute he has that he feels well, and to value every precious moment in life.

      over 3 years ago
    • chargerdeb's Avatar

      It changes your entire life. In Nov. my husband was diagnosed & had whipple surgery all within 7 days. Our lives were turned upside down. He was so sick & weak prior to surgery & for 6 weeks after that he was almost completely unaware of what was happening. I lost my job & the dog died, I feel like I could write a country western song .But all of that being said.....our norm has changed and continues to change, but we roll along with it. We are living with cancer, like most people have said, we are amazed at the people who have stepped up to help, the good words said and the laughs we still have. Some days are tough, but life was like that before cancer.

      over 3 years ago
    • Russ' Avatar


      I will try to answer this question from a cancer victim's perspective. I am a 12yr, stage III, pancreatic cancer survivor. I lost 40% of my pancreas, and my entire spleen, along with a slice of my left kidney, and 5 lymph nodes. It has been a long time, but I will never forget the treatments for my cancer. I had 24/7 chemo every day for 5 weeks, along with 5 days of radiation during the same 5 weeks. My wife and my daughter were the rocks of support. Every hospital visit I had to go over blood work, cat scans etc., my wife took me and our daughter was there for every visit. My support system was phenominal. The day of my surgery my wife was there, along with our daughter, and our son who flew in from Chicago. The surgery was done in Philadelphia. My cousin from Chicago flew in as well. My brother also drove down from North NJ., I am so glad that they were all there, because my wife needed to see them. My brother told me later that when he got to the hospital he saw my wife and she was by herself, because she was there early. He said that he saw her come out of the ladies restroom and he could tell that she had been crying. Later...after we came home from the hospital, (6 days later), I had asked my wife if she had cried at all. She said that she did, but it was only when she was alone...Asian people do not express their emotions in public. Any way I didn't start my treatments until after the Christmas Holidays. Our daughter was at every doctors visit and cat scans which were done every 90 days for the first 2 years. My brother called me every day to see how I was doing. EVERY DAY from January 2nd thru May 29th. EVERY DAY even while he was on vacation. I'll never forget the last day of my treatments, May 29, 2001. My brother said to me..."now that you are through with treatments I will be calling you every couple of days." I said that was fine with me. We all have our own ways of grieving and many of those times are not outward crying, and sometimes it is with crying. I myself cried a lot in the beginning...I thought that I was going to die. But I always look at these times of crying as nothing more than..."emotional cleansings." I would cry, get it out, and move on. My brother grieved, moved on, and then called me every day. Our daughter grieved, moved on, and went to all of my doctor's visits. I tell such a long story because I want you to know we all grieve in our own ways. I have told many of you that you can reach me directly by email, because I want you to know that I am here to support any one of you. The reason being is because I get it! You get it! As much as our loved ones provide as much support as possible...they don't get it...unless they have been through it themselves. They just don't git it! I have been through some group meetings through Gilda's Club; and it is ironic but those of use who have faced a life threatening disease, are worried more about our family and friends.We tell others to watch so and so because we are worried about them and how they are handling all of this. We are the ones who are going through all of this, yet we worry about others. Everyone of our family and friends have different ways to grieve in their own time. Don't deprive yourself of your emotions, and feelings, but don't dwell on them either. Get them out and move on. You will soon realize that it is time to use all of this energy on your recovery process. I sincerely hope that this helps you in some way. After about 18 months of going through surgery, treatments, and grieving, I have come to realize that I have a purpose. Being a survivor means that we have another day to live, but we must live it with a purpose; and my purpose is to reach out to those who flollow in my footsteps and who are newly diagnosed with cancer. It is during these times of treatments that we need support. Someone who can give us the hope, the strength, and the courage to move forward in our treatments. This may sound impossible to some of you...but I am at a point in my battle with cancer where I feel fortunate to have cancer and survived, because I am on a different path now than I was before. I have met soooo many good people who have cancer and their family members as well. I have received several emails from family memebers thanking me for being their for them...not the one who has cancer, but for them! That's okay we are all part of a very large family of cnacer patients. There is a whole new family out there that you haven't met as of yet. Reach out to them...they are there waiting for our support. Good luck to all of you and remember I am here to offer my support to anyone of you. My email address is listed below:

      [email redacted]

      Best regards to all,

      over 3 years ago
    • FreeBird's Avatar

      That's a hard question to answer in a short space. My dad was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer last year, and he's now receiving hospice care. It was a shock to sit in the little exam room and hear that there's not much he could do for it. It was a very long ride home. The months that followed were busy with treatment, and a hospital stay. I'm his caregiver. It means making the most of every day, taking one day at a time, and grabbing onto what you do have.

      over 3 years ago
    • cjwarden's Avatar

      My mom was diagnosed at age 79 with pc 5 years ago. This was after beating 2 other types of cancers. She received great treatment at the Mayo. The journey for her has been very tough. Her digestion difficulties left her at 90 pounds, and she still has to be very careful about what she eats. But she is a phenomenally strong, beautiful German widow and mother of 8 grown kids. She received her 5 yr. cancer- free results this month! In dealing with all these cancers, she says she just decides she is not going to let it beat her. She stays very busy cheering up others in her nursing home and all us kids! Last week she found out she had to have spine surgury for nerve damage from a car accident. But what did she say? She was shaken and she was disappointed, but she told me that she had decided it was going to be ok. And why should she complain? After all, she has had a very good life, and everything had turned out just fine. What an inspiration she is to me, especially now that I have been recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

      over 3 years ago

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