Wage Hope to end pancreatic cancer
It may be said that IT (the cancer) started around, or was more highly likely IT was there from before. But, in December 2015 my doctor told me that I needed to lose more weight as my HbA1c was going up. That time of the year is never the best time, and more importantly I was going to Jamaica for 1 month to help my daughter with her new baby. So, my plan for more weight lose would happen after getting back to New York. Jamaica was GREAT, did not over indulge in my island food. I returned late January, but waited a few weeks to follow up with my primary physician. I received the news that I am now a diabetic and needed to start taking medications. This was not my worse diagnosis and decided to follow directions about taking medications. I took the medication as prescribed but, did not like how it made me feel. I had no appetite and my stomach just never felt right. I told one of my daughters about the uneasy feeling and was advised that it may be just the disease of diabetes, or the side effects of the medication.
The doctor said that I needed to lose weight and I surely accomplished it. With no appetite and stomach issues, my body no longer wanted food. It was a daily fight to eat a meal. I decided one morning to stop taking the medications, and insisted that it must be the medication. I wanted to recheck my lab work, but my daughter told me that I would need to be off the medications for a longer time, for the lab work to show the effects of not taking it. In May my son surprised me for my 65th birthday and spent Mother's Day also. But, still no appetite to eat, even when we went out to a restaturant for my birthday.
I had a horrible bout of vomiting on May 18th, and went to the emergency room. I was told I had stool in my stomach, and then sent home with a follow up with my primary. I was given a week off and my oldest daughter told me to come to Virginia. While resting in Virginia I had more bouts of vomiting..... then went to the ER. On May 27th, I received a diagnosis of Cancer. It was confirmed Pancreatic cancer with metastasis to the stomach wall on June 3rd, 2016. It was a hard blow BUT I was up for the fight. My acceptance of the diagnosis and holding unto my God, made me strong for myself and others. Prayers, prayers and more prayers was my strength. Praying most mornings with my son.
All four of my children, their spouses as well as their children surrounded me with love and comfort since my diagnosis. I was never alone, as they rotated being in Virginia with me. The pain, the pain, was very challenging, it reminded me of labor pains but sometimes it would not go away. I completed 2/3 sessions from my first chemo cycle. Spent sometime in the hospital and tried 1 more session of chemo, but then came neutropenia and my bone marrow was depleted. My bone marrow eventually recovered after 2 weeks. I had ascites and fluid rentention that redistributed throughout my body. At that time my legs had so much fluid that I could not walk, or lift my legs at times. My total weight loss was not disclosed, but was very obvious. I still wanted to give the fight despite the diagnosis.
I cried at times, but not for everyone to see. I heard my children always talking, and trying their best to make the right decisions on my treatment. I was very, very proud of them, as I lived my life for my kids. They stuck together, and tried to make things happen. There was a night when I cried as I asked if that would be my day of passing, but my daughter told me no, but it does not look good.
After spending several weeks in the hospital and I wanted to go home. The doctors determined that the hospital was not doing anything for me and my options were to go on Hospice. I opted for Hospice at home. On August 5th, I went to my daughter's home and was able to feel that warm homely feeling that I missed so much. I got a chance to actually go outside on the deck and feel the breeze on my almost bald head. But, my obvious awareness to my surroundings ended on August 11th, when my morphine doses became routine with times needing extra doses for breakthrough. I was no longer in pain but I had no more interaction with my family. The nurses came daily for one more week. On August 18th, I waited for my daughter to call on FaceTime, then.....
Please support PANCAN, as they offered support and valuable resources which helped my family.
In the eyes of Beverley Richardson