Life is very stressful and difficult for my family lately, hence the title of this post. About six weeks ago DH was feeling unwell and went to see our GP; he was also worried about the colour of his urine which was much darker than usual. He had a urine test, which came back negative, but then he started experiencing various other worrying symptoms and when his skin and the whites of his eyes became noticeably yellow, we were both very concerned. I spoke to one of the consultants at work, who in addition to being a gastroenterologist, also specialises in liver disease and he saw DH right away. He told us that it was obstructive jaundice and sent DH for blood tests, as well as some scans and then he had to have an ERCP, so that a stent could be inserted to drain the bile duct.
As soon as the consultant saw DH, he admitted him to the Gastroenterology Ward, where he spent a couple of days while undergoing further scans and when he was discharged, we were told that the scans showed a malignant mass on the head of the pancreas and as there were also concerns re the liver, DH had to have an MRI of his liver to see whether the malignancy had spread. We had to wait several days before the results were available and then had to see a senior consultant at General Surgery. It was a nerve wracking time for us, but we were hoping that if the malignancy was contained in the pancreas, surgery would have been an option, but sadly that was not to be. We were told this devastating news just over two weeks ago; at the beginning of this week DH had to have a repeat EUS so that further biopsies could be taken and yesterday the cancer nurse coordinator called to give me the histology results which have confirmed the diagnosis which is stage 4 pancreatic cancer which has metastasised to the liver.
DH has an appointment with an oncologist next week and our son and I will be going with him, not only to support him, but to try and get some answers to all of the questions we have. We were told that chemotherapy should only start a few weeks after the initial consultation with the oncologist, which means that DH can at least enjoy the festive season while he still feels relatively well.
Needless to say, we are stressed and scared, given that pancreatic cancer is so aggressive and we were told that DH could have only a few months to a year of life left, but he is hoping to beat the odds. We are both still working our normal hours, which does help to take our minds off all the stress, but having said that, it is very tiring and we are looking forward to having some leave over Christmas and New Year.