My mom died too young. Pancreatic cancer took her from us. I wish things turned out differently for her. I wish she had different treatment and that she was treated by an expert who understood her agressive cancer. Cancer Treatment Centers of America treats every patient as an individual and offers treatment for the whole-body as a person and not “someone else” who has cancer. I regret that my mother didn’t receive the support she needed as cancer is complex- not only does it wreak havoc on your body but it effects you emotionally and psychologically. Plus, it’s painful for family and friends who often times feel helpless. I wonder if the outcome would have changed if she received a different course of action. I had urged her to seek a second opinion or switch hospitals but she put faith in the doctors caring for her.
My mom died of cancer when she was 55. That was 16 years ago. I still remember the day we rushed her to the ER. She had a high fever and complained of back pain. After a slew of tests we were told that she had Pancreatic Cancer. After further testing it was determined that she was stage 1. It’s unusual for people to be diagnosed so early on with this type of cancer. Most people don’t have symptoms until they are in the later stages (stage IV) and statistically they pass away within a year or within months of diagnosis.
Cancer abruptly became a part of our life. Along with that came a whirlwind of emotions, fear, panic, anger and confusion. What was going to happen to my beautiful mom? Her team of doctors decided to schedule the Whipple procedure. For those of you who are unaware of this procedure, it’s a major surgery. If I remember correctly, the operation took over 13 hours. The operation involves removing part of the pancreas, duodenum and gall bladder. I’ll never forget seeing the scar that ran across the length of her entire abdomen.
Life after this procedure wasn’t easy for my mom. She seemed to have complications or side-effects from it for years. She was never the same- always nervous and she seemed sick more often than not. The one thing she was happy over was her doctors decision to forgo chemotherapy. He reviewed her case along with a team of other doctors, who decided that her age, and the early progression of the cancer were enough to rule out the need for chemotherapy. I didn’t agree with the decision, but my mother trusted them and wanted to avoid it. This was her body and life and I had to respect her wishes.
We were told that if she made the five-year mark that she would be cancer free. She was almost there. Sadly, 5 years later, she became sick again. The cancer was back! This time they found a massive growth the size of a cantaloupe. Doctors weren’t sure if this was a resurgence of pancreatic cancer that metastasized. Regardless, my mother didn’t want to find out. She was done. Plus, at this point, they couldn’t help her. We arranged in-home hospice and my mom passed away a few weeks later with me by her side. I’ll never forget that moment…it changed my life.
So many of us have had these moments where we watched our loved-ones waste away. The pain of having to say goodbye too early. But this was about my mother. Cancer is a personal experience and Cancer Treatment Centers of America acknowledges that journey. They use leading technology to aggressively treat cancer plus support patients to improve their quality of life.
I look back and wish that we had looked at other treatment options. I feel that it would have made a difference especially when it came to quality of life. Nutrition and healing support is a part of the process and that was lacking on my mother’s care.
A large percentage of Center Treatment Centers patients travel to their hospitals from another state for individual care. Why?
• Their physicians have expertise in treating many forms of cancer, including complex and advanced-stage diseases.
• Their hospitals offer advanced technologies and tools to fight cancer combined with integrative oncology services to improve quality of life—all under one roof.
• Their patients receive an individualized, comprehensive treatment plan from a team of cancer experts.
• Their care teams put you at the center of your treatment, so you and your family can focus on healing. TheySharin call it Patient Empowered Care® and it helps get you get care quickly and conveniently, and decreases the stress of treatment plan.
I also wish that there was more support for us, the family. Support and information for the people who loved and cared for my mother.
Will I get pancreatic cancer? Is it hereditary? That is always in the back of my mind. I’ve been told that a low percentage of pancreatic cancer cases are genetic. But how do we truly know? I can’t change the past, but I can educate myself and my family on maintaining our health and well-being. I can also pay tribute to my mom, especially over the holidays which is a hard-time for many families who have lost the ones they love…
This is a sponsored post on behalf of CTCA and MomSelect. Opinions are my own.