Everyday somewhere in the world a person finds out from a doctor that they have Pancreatic cancer. Over six (6) years ago that diagnosis was given to my father who died three (3) months later. Dad had been suffering with some kind of illness for almost a year, but until the very end no one diagnosed him with Pancreatic Cancer. At first his doctor thought he had an ulcer, so he treated him unsuccessfully for that condition. However, as time went by Dad started feeling worse and he lost a lot of weight because he was not hungry anymore. Finally, his doctor sent him to a specialist that diagnosis his condition as Pancreatic Caner and told him he had about three months to live.
Dad's cancer had spread from his pancreas into his liver. The doctor said that there were few treatment options available that might save his life. So our entire family loaded up in the car to take the short drive home, all the way contemplating the reality that dad was going to die soon. Little did we know, at the time, that toward the end of dads life we would all pray for God to grant him peace and take him home. Before dads diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer I knew little about this disease except that Michael Landon had died from it many years before. In the weeks that followed I would learn more about Pancreatic Cancer than anyone should ever be force to know about a disease that kills it's victims so quickly.
For the last month of dads life he was unable to eat anything and he also required huge amounts of morphine to keep his pain in check. Toward the end of his life the amount of morphine required to keep him comfortable grew larger everyday to where the last three days of dads life he was totally uncontentious 24 hours per day. The fine people from Hospice helped mother and the rest of us through those last few days with kindness and dignity. They also helped us understand what was happening with dads body as he approached death and as much as was possible gave us peace as dads date with death approached. Almost three months to the date after dad was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer he passed away on the last day of October in 2001.
There are many different types of cancer and while some cancers have very successful treatment options, Pancreatic Cancer is not one of them. In the unfortunate event that someone close to you is diagnosis with terminal Pancreatic Cancer, I urge you to contact Hospice at once. Dads doctor recommended them highly and I frankly don't know how my family could have coped without them.
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