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Old 02-12-04, 09:32 PM   #1
bac
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Pancreatic Cancer

My grandfather was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer today. He is 84 years old. I know that this form of cancer is very painful, and swift. The cancer has already spread into other organs - the prognosis is bleak to say the least. His life is now measured in months @ best. It's so sad because he has always been very active, and in really fantastic shape all his life. He never acted (or looked) his age, and is so full of life. He has been my inspiration in so many ways.

Who has experience with this type of cancer? What are the best things I can do to help him, and my family? I know that there is no way to save him now, but I just want to do what I can to help with the time he has left.

ThanX for any advice you can share.
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Old 02-12-04, 10:09 PM   #2
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I can offer only condolences, bac. Really sorry to learn of this.
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Old 02-12-04, 10:38 PM   #3
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My condolences. I went through this with my mother a few years back (metastatic brain/spinal cancer). Here are my suggestions:

Be thankful that he got to lead a full life;

Make him comfortable and happy and surround him with as much love as you can for as long as he has left;

Don't let the doctors f*** with him simply in order to prolong his life for a short while if the prognosis is as you say; there is no dignity or quality of life once you become a surgical science experiment on life support; pain control may be all he needs or wants;

If your family can't for some reason care for him at home in his final days, find him the best hospice care you can, and visit him frequently;

Don't let the doctors, hospitals, insurance companies or anyone else push you around - make sure the family makes all of the important decisions relating to care.

Good Luck.
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Old 02-13-04, 12:28 AM   #4
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bac,

Not much I can say, knowing that a loved one has cancer really bites. Don't let the doctors try to prolong the life, pancreatic cancer can not be recovered from, especially with it's rate of passing to other cases in this instance. Enjoy the time with your grand father while there is time.
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Old 02-13-04, 09:24 AM   #5
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ThanX for the kind and insightful words. I just wish there was more I could do. Just being there for him is about all there is left now. I will do that to the best of my ability.
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Old 02-13-04, 09:48 AM   #6
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Bac,

My best friend died of Bladder Cancer last year, and
while I really couldn't do anything to "help" him this
is what I did, and what I think helped both of us.

1) Don't let the Cancer define who he is, he is your
grandfather, not someone with cancer. Don't treat him
any differently than you did before his diagnosis.
2) Don't be afraid of the disease or him (I know, tough
idea to get your head around). Don't be afraid to let him
know how you feel, however don't everyone break down
every time you see him, he is more than someone with
cancer. I've seen alot of people just disappear after the
first diagnosis, its too painful to handle, or too sad, its
Bull. Your grandfather is going to need you, be there for
him.
3) Don't be afraid to let him go, this was the hardest
thing for me to get, that it was ok. This one speaks a bit
to what Randya said above.
Can't think of a whole lot more, other than to say
the best of your ability, is exactly what's required, you
really can't do any wrong, nor harm. If you need to talk/
vent etc. send me PM.

Marty
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Old 02-13-04, 09:56 AM   #7
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My heartfelt condolences, Bac.

I agree about sharing as much love as possible.
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Old 02-14-04, 09:02 PM   #8
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I have recently found out that my 85 year old grandmother has hodgkin's lymphoma. We decided that the treatment should not be worse than the disease. I don't know what else to say other than you have my condolences bac.
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Old 02-15-04, 09:38 AM   #9
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pancreatic cancer support

So sorry to hear about the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Below are a couple of links to sites that helped me when my Mother was battling her cancer.

http://www.pancan.org/

http://pathology.jhu.edu/pancreas/ (This is an ongoing chat room that helped my family cope and also gave us ideas to help out when different problems arose).

I would also suggest going to a big hospital that deals with this type of cancer such as M.D. Anderson, Mayo Clinic or Johns Hopkins. It is very important to find foods that he can tolerate. Nutrition is very important in keeping up his strength. Also, encourage a positive attitude.
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