One of the hardest things to do in life is to live once you've been told you are going to die. It's as if life speeds up after you receive knowledge that your days are ticking away on a finite clock that you have no control over.
One important thing that I learned while experiencing the devastating effects of Pancreatic Cancer with my mother as she fought this distressing disease is that it is crucial to focus on the time that you have rather than on the time you don't have.
To me, this article is a condensed version of the Diary of Cancer Patient's Daughter as I explain what living with Pancreatic Cancer is like from diagnosis to death as I framed the picture of my mother's experience in my mind.
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I hope and pray that you receive something out of these words birthed out of the pain that will bring you peace and help you or your loved one with a Cancer diagnosis live a little longer and happier in spite of the sad reality you are facing. There are 7 D's in this Cancer Diary that can help you manage the physical and mental aspects of this awful disease. Remember that what you don't do in the Cancer Crisis is just as important as what you do.
My mother Joyce was 66 years old when she was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer during the summer of 2008. Though all Cancer is bad, Pancreatic Cancer is considered one of the worst because it is the most difficult to diagnose. The reason is that the symptoms mirror digestive problems as the disease hides in the depths of the digestive system.
My mother had chronic pain in her stomach and thought she went to the emergency room several times receiving numerous tests and ultrasounds the doctors kept telling her nothing was wrong with her and sent her home every time. Initially, they thought it was a problem with her gall bladder which is a common misdiagnosis in the case of Pancreatic Cancer.
Her Father Boyce whom she was named after died of Pancreatic Cancer 20 years earlier, but the chance that she could have that very same thing never occurred to her or anyone else in our family. If Cancer runs in your family, especially Pancreatic Cancer, I would advise you to have regular screenings for this disease as early diagnosis is a key to survival. One of the most deadly things about Pancreatic Cancer is that because it is so hard to diagnose most patients don't receive their diagnosis until they are already in Stage 4 of the Cancer when there is practically no hope.
The symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer include abdominal pain and pressure, jaundice, nausea, loss of appetite, depression, weight loss, and weakness. My mother had all symptoms except for jaundice. Just because a person is missing a common symptom doesn't mean they don't have Pancreatic Cancer. The most common procedures used to diagnosis this brutal disease are Ultrasonography, CT Scanning, Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography, Endoscopic Ultrasound, MRI, and Cholangiogram Percutaneous Transhepatic.