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Husband diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer

10 Jan 2016 18:58

My husband and I are both 53, two weeks before Christmas he was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer.  Our world has been turned upside down by the diagnosis.  We were looking forward to enjoying ourselves more in 2016 as 2015 was a difficult year.  I can not even begin to contemplate not having by husband around as we have been together since we were 16, we have been so lucky to have such a wonderful long relationship. 

I am struggling with the emotional side of it all.  My husband seems very accepting and just wants to organise everything to make it easier for me when he is not longer here.  He stuggles with the not knowing how long he has?  He has started palative chemotherapy and the side affects do not seem to bad at the moment.  Though he is very tired. We have three children and 2 grandchildren who have all taken the news very differently.


Re: Husband diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer

10 Jan 2016 22:02 in response to frankinsence


I'm in a similar position to your husband, though with a different cancer, I also find the not knowing the hardest part. I found sorting out my arrangements quite therapeutic.

I hope the palliative chemo works and buys you more precious time together.

Best wishes


Re: Husband diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer

10 Jan 2016 22:33 in response to frankinsence

Hi frankinsence so sorry to hear about your husbands terminal diagnosis. I'm the same as you I was with my husband since around 16 and we had been together for 54 years sadly he didn't make our 50th anniversary as he died nearly 4 years ago to terminal prostate cancer. My family took it differently as well some coped and were supportive others broke down and needed help getting back up the grandkids were mortified of the thought of losing him. And when the time came all we could do was be there for each other. Hope to hear from you. -Diane x 

Re: Husband diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer

19 Jan 2016 01:11 in response to frankinsence

Hi Frankinsence,

It is late and I am on here, having finally broken down in tears after trying to keep so strong. My darling husband is 39 and at the end of September we were given the same diagnosis as you. It was so out of the blue, we thought he had IBS and to be told you have stage IV pancreatic cancer and six months left cannot be described in more words then devastating. 

We only met 7 years ago and he became step dad to my three young children after their bio father abanonded us to live in China. We married a year ago and now this. It is such a cruel, horrible illness.

Since diagnosis we have had a lot of emergencies. He had two rounds of chemo, but could not tolerate it. He has just come out of hospital where we almost lost him a week ago to a catastrophic internal bleed as the cancer is affecting the liver now. fortunately he is fighting, but he is ignoring plans or conversations about what we should plan for or what I should do.

The thought of not having him here to talk with to hold to touch is more painful then I can describe and I dont know how I will get through this. We are so madly in love, deeply in love and this is so unfair.

I do feel so blessed to have found love, like you, I feel so grateful but so, so is like a living death for the spouse, with such a range of emotions. Its ****.

Sending love...and strenght to you...just needed to vent through the tears tonight xxx

Re: Husband diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer

19 Jan 2016 01:29 in response to Shihtzu

My thoughts are with you both! So sorry for your tears. Hugs X

Re: Husband diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer

19 Jan 2016 09:37 in response to frankinsence

Sounds like a wonderful man - make the most of the time you have - doesn't sound as if it will be that long unfortunately.

Outlook for pancreatic cancer patients explained here

If he's stage 4 its going to be under the section advanced stages, sperad to another part of the body

Otherwise get him to ask his oncologist straight out - my experience is that unless you ask them directly how much longer you have they wont volunteer the information - you can't untell omeone something like that 

Re: Husband diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer

19 Jan 2016 14:07 in response to frankinsence

Hi Frankinsence, I lost my husband August 2015 from pancreatic cancer. He was diagnosed in August 2014 and had the whipple surgery in september of 2014. His mass was at the head of the pancreas only 2.5cm. They discovered after surgery that it has spread to some lymph nodes. He went into a clinical trial of 5FU but he was only able to do 4 rounds of the chemo as they had removed so many organs and parts of organs during the surgery that the chemo was too much for him. After having to quit the trials we were basically left to our own devices. He had blood tests and scans but when his CA 9-19 markers went up to 450 nothing was mentioned to us and from there the cancer spread like wild fire. When they told us in July that he was stage 4 my husband was unprepared. He made it about 8 weeks. We went into pallitive care right away and I was able to keep him home. The pallitive care nurses and Dr's were amazing and when my husband passed away it was very peaceful. It has been almost 5 months now and the I am still struggling emotionally. I don't know if that will ever go away. He was my soulmate. The love of my life. I have no advice. I believe that for myself the only way is to be in the moment and don't look past tomorrow as it becomes too much too handle. My thoughts are with you and please come back any time. The people are wonderful here.


Re: Husband diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer

28 Jan 2016 00:37 in response to frankinsence

I'm so sorry about your husband. My mum is 56 and we found out just before Xmas that she is stage 4b pancreatic cancer that has spread to liver. She has had one round of chemo so far. What chemo has your husband had? 

Re: Husband diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer

18 Mar 2017 21:02 in response to frankinsence

Hi Frankinsence

My Mother has the same diagnosis. How is your husband doing? My Mum is 62 and has had Abraxane/ Gemcitabine combo of chemotherepy and has done very well on it. She is still with us- and- touch wood- pretty well- after a year. I really didn't think we would have this long. It's very very hard not knowing and having this hanging over you all. It is draining for everyone.  Love to you and a prayer (even agnositics need something) Wink Love N.Kate

Re: Husband diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer

18 Mar 2017 21:04 in response to pink58

Dear Pink- how are you? how is yor mother doing? I suppsose we are in similar situation N.Kate x


Re: Husband diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer

1 Oct 2017 17:39 in response to nalkate
Hello, not sure if I can be of any help, have not blogged about my stage 4 cancer before, diagnosed 2014

Re: Husband diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer

3 Oct 2017 07:53 in response to yorkshire man

Hello Yorkshire man

i am awaiting diagnosis but fearing the worst. Dr refered me for emergency ct scan after ultra sound showed lesion on pancreas.

my symptoms at moment are slightly yellow and pain in centre of abdomen, just under rib cage.

ultra sound ruled out gall stones.

would appreciate any advice.



Re: Husband diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer

3 Oct 2017 10:54 in response to frantic.
Advice, can't help. What I have realised is cancer is a unique journey, what works for one may not for another, but I'm happy to share any information that may help. Upon diagnosis, first thing I did was have a good cry ( in the car park of the hospital) didn't see that coming, as with you prolonged abdominal pain, had lost three stone because I was afraid to eat. Next I researched all I could find and decided what I thought was good for cancer and what was bad. I know it's going to win, but I will last as long( in good health) as I can. This has meant drastic life changes for me, read it's beneficial to go vegan for at least 3 days a week ( love a full English breakfast) so I went vegan overnight, no point in half measures, decided if the pancreas was under attack, then the rest of my organs would have to work overtime to compensate, so I now take 20 supplements for the rest of them to help with the load. The main thing for me was to recognise I was the mirror everyone looked into to see how I was, if I looked terrified, then they would too, it's not that I aren't concerned, of course I am, but I have to look at what I can deal with and what I can't, can't deal with the cancer, can deal with the symptoms and how I let them affect my state of mind. Feel I've rattled on enough for you, please stay positive, my lifestyle pre diagnosis was so unhealthy, hope this helps, Al

Re: Husband diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer

3 Oct 2017 11:16 in response to yorkshire man
Hi Al Please can you point me to ideas for reading. Thanks for the long chat appreciated your views at moment I'm trying to stay positive and hoping for the lessors of evils but also preparing for whatever. Regards Dianne

Re: Husband diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer

3 Oct 2017 16:41 in response to frantic.

Positive is good, realistic is also good, researched all sorts of websites, most give conflicting advice, recognised I needed to make some decisions about the choices I was going to make. I am not an expert, however I am as near an expert on me as I can find so I gauge everything on how it makes me feel, I just avoid the things that I think will feed the cancer, my problem is this is an incredibly long list now, but worth it to come from laid on the floor for 2-3 hours waiting for the morpheine to work, to now pain free 95% of the time. Deal with the  pain if you can , sounds like the pancreas is working too hard, Al