No early detection of pancreatic cancer until its in the later stages

Explaining how we found out Tom had pancreatic cancer

Let me give you some info about how we got the news that my husband had pancreatic cancer.

My husband had been experiencing back pain since around 11/2011. So we finally scheduled an appt with the orthopedic dr who ordered an MRI and that showed he did have bulging discs in his back.

So the ortho dr referred us to a pain management specialist who suggested my husband get steroid injections in his back to help the inflammation. After 3 of those treatments Tom was still in a lot of pain.

So the pain management dr suggested triple point injections thinking that toms muscles were not relaxing. After 4 of those and still no relief the pain management suggested physical therapy. So Tom went to ever fit for that.

After about 5 sessions of that and he was still not getting any relief I finally decided to google back pain that won't go away. Well the results that came back were pancreatic cancer.

So I started looking at the signs and symptons of pancreatic cancer and saw a lot of symptons that Tom was having. That was right before we went on vaca. So while we were on vaca I called our family dr and set up an appt for the Monday when we came back. We went to him sat and talked to him about all of what was going on he immediately sent Tom for a cat scan and made us wait for the results.

They came out and said your family dr wants to see you back at his office now. At that point I knew it wasn't good news. And when we went back thats when our family dr told us that Tom did indeed have pancreatic cancer and the tumor was the size of a baseball. And that it was going to be a long difficult journey. Well at that point and time our lives totally turned upside down.

Then the questions what do we do where do we go how do we tell our 3 children what does the future hold. I immediately called fox chase the next day and they got us in within days and our first dr we met was our surgical oncologist who didn't sugar coat anything laid everything out straight forward.

Basically told Tom close out all your retirement accts and live your life while you can. And We both appreciated that. Tom has a 1 in 15 chance of getting 5 years. The statistics are not very hopeful. Then Tom had to have a biopsy just to verify it was cancer and it came back that yes it was.

Our next meeting was with the medical oncologist who sat and talked with us and gave us the hope that with treatment there may be a chance for the tumor to eventually be operable. So in sept Tom started a very aggressive chemo that totally wiped him out. He had chemo every other week for 2 months. His chemo treatment was 5 hour chemo at fox chase then he came home with a chemo pack that gave him 46 more hours of continuous chemo. ( more to come)

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