Adenocarcinoma Pancreas

This blog becomes a journal. A journal to follow the progression of my physical problems; my mental attitude; and hopefully to help those who have neuroendocrine cancer. There is no cure.

This week started as any other week. Monday, 8:30 a.m. yearly physical. Nothing seemed wrong, therefore no anxiety on my part. Scales indicated I had lost about 12 or so pounds but then I had a stressful summer so no biggie there. Had the EKG. Nothing abnormal. Dr. Mahapatra comes in to go over blood work, which had been drawn last Friday. Cholestero down without medication from 252 to 210. Other things high or low or abnormal looked o.k. but there was a little blood in the urine and he thought I should have that checked  because cancer runs rampant through my family. An ultrasound for the abdominal cavity on Wednesday, fasting, was set up for 8:15 a.m.

Home to  pull things out for a yard sale. Have been saying for years “I have to de-clutter; I cannot leave this for my children to handle.” It is easier said than done. I called my former stepdaughter, Susan, to ask for her help. She had to handle her Dad’s estate and he had more than I. She did a great job! I knew she could get me organized and on my way. She said that she would be glad to help and would come up with a reasonable amount I could pay her for doing so. I had stated that I wished to pay for her time and efforts in helping with this project.

I had planned to have a yard sale last weekend, however was preempted by a neighbor, Jan, who is selling her brother’s household because he is now in an assisted living facility. The across street neighbor, Brenda, was going to help me, however, she also helps Jan with disposing of the brother’s assets. I yielded my time for the greater good, besides I did not feel real well. I had promised my next door neighbor, Ruth, that we would have one then I said we could not have one but would wait for this weekend. Everything planned. The Universe was smiling at such mundane things for She had other plans.

Tuesday we worked on yard sale plans. Susan, Brenda, Ruth. A lot of progress was made and it felt good to finally start the decluttering process.

I performed ultrasounds at one time in my life and let the young tech know that if I could see the screen, I would pretty much know what she/I were seeing. She did not hide the screen, therefore I saw. I had arrived early, therefore I was finished by 7:59. I left and went to Dollar Tree to purchase yard sale signs and some balloons for the day of to identify my house. From there, it was Dunkin Donuts because I knew i needed to get some food in my body and some coffee because Mahapatra would be calling for me to come back in.

I had consumed almost all the doughnut and a half cup of coffee when the call came at 8:35 to come in at 9 a.m.

When I got there, the staff all seemed to have that “sad” face and I said “No sad faces; it is a beautiful day and because we are alive we need to laugh and enjoy every second.”  Did not seem to work. When Mahapatra came in same “sad” face and I repeated that I would not tolerate any “sad” faces. “Laughter”, I stated, “is the best medicine.” He told me what I already knew but I let him do his job and inform me that we needed to verify what the ultrasound had picked up which looked like a 3.4 cm mass in my pancreas. A CAT scan was scheduled for 12:15 p.m. that afternoon and for me to stop drinking the water, which I was holding. I said, “I will stop when I leave this office but not until then. I need the water.” Laughing I exited and came home to wait. He also told me to push lots of water after the scan. Little did I know what that would mean.

Susan had arrived by the time I got back home to wait for 12:15. I explained to her what was happening. I also informed Brenda and Chris who has been working on different projects most of the summer. I wanted them to know. Each person took the news in their own way which is personal to them. When I left at 11:45, they were all working on the various jobs to be done.

Arriving at The Imaging Center of Crestwood Hospital, I said I should have stayed from this morning. Signed in again and was given the Contrast Dye to drink; was told it did not taste good but to drink one glass and then wait 30 minutes and drink the second glass. I was so thirsty that I drank the first glass within five minutes. The staff said it seemed I was the first patient not to whine or complain and drink the Contrast in a very short period of time. I said, “I was thirsty. Tasted pretty good to me.” Waited the thirty minutes and drank the second glass in three minutes still being thirsty.

Thirty minutes later, I go back for the CT scan. There was a gentleman sitting there in a suit and tie and I said, “who is this strange man, certainly not a doctor because you have on a suit and tie, to be looking at my insides?”  He stated that he was helping them to learn how to run their new CT machine. I said laughingly, “oh, you are the sales person who sold them the machine and brought the vodka which you had them place in my Contrast Dye.”  He laughed and said he had not brought any vodka but I insisted I would spread that rumor.

The tech was young; I asked her if she were a good sticker because I have small veins which roll and I knew the needle would be large for the intramuscular dye stating that one stick and we were done. She said, “No Pressure” and smiled and I said “None, so let’s get started.”

She was a good sticker…one and in. The dye did not burn that bad and within no time we were finished. Leaving I found three individuals huddled around the image on the screen. I asked if I were glowing; they said, “no” but the lady said “Gentlemen, look at her; she is glowing from the inside out.” I thanked her all the while observing all the masses in the whole body scan. I was reminded to push lots of water; eight glasses before I went to bed.

I said goodbye and left; they said I was to see Mahapatra at 2:15 the next day for the results. Arriving home, I began to drink lots of water. This brought on continuing diarrhea.

Susan decided not to work on Thursday so I had the morning to myself. I did not think deep thoughts nor worry about the next minute. I was occupied with the recurring diarrhea and the three showers I ended up taking along with two separate washing of clothes before it dawned on me that I needed to find the Depends to stop the showers and the washing machine.

Arrived at 2:00 on Thursday to more sad faces and I laughed and said that they really needed to get out and enjoy life more. That I was alive and not to be putting me in the ground just yet.

The CT scan (2) revealed many things; some occurring because of age; others not.

Hiatial Hernia; Cysts on each kidney, 6.5 on left, smaller on right; scarring on my right lung (have had a spot there for a long time); and a long standing 4.5 mid body mass in the pancreas and until proven wrong the impression was that it was adenocarcinoma.The only real known is that I have pneumonia in the right lung. A prescription was called in and because I am allergic to yellow dye I was advised to take a benadryl with the pill. This I was sure would really knock me out.

Two appointments were made for Monday; one with a urologist to check the bladder and the other with an oncologist to see what he chooses to do and whether I agree or not. I would like to know for certain whether it is malignant or not; however, since it has been there a long time, it must be slow growing, therefore, I do not think I want to be cut on because once that happens, in my opinion, the cancer spreads and grows. My mother always said that.

Awakened this morning (Friday) feeling rather sluggish from the benadryl. Susan arrived early. I had Angel Food Cake for breakfast and a small amount of coffee. We worked four hours on the forthcoming yard sale.

My personal thoughts were that I have had a good life; longer than some; shorter than others. This is another adventure and a journey that sooner or later everyone will travel in some form or another and that I would enjoy every minute of every day.

The other thought is that I have things I would like to finish; however, sometimes we are not given that time to sort through the Bits and Pieces of life. Perhaps, I will be allowed to have that time.

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