• Cancer Patient Stories

    Mother’s Day Gift for a Mom Who Has Everything (including Pancreatic Cancer)

On Mother's Day, Jeanine Peterson told the story on her blog of the special gift she gave her mom, a Mayo Clinic patient. With her mom's permission, we share a portion of the story here:

History: 3 years ago Mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at age 62. Pancreatic cancer is one of the most serious and deadliest cancers. Depending on the extent of the cancer at the time of diagnosis, the prognosis is generally regarded as poor; less than 5 percent of those diagnosed are still alive five years after diagnosis. The death rate related to surgery at hospitals that do not do these operations every day is FOUR TIMES as high as at high volume hospitals. So, my sister and I took her to Mayo Clinic in my home city of Jacksonville FL.

At Mayo, they perform the Whipple Surgery (resection of the pancreas) more than 350 times a year. That is a lot of practice to get it right! I truly credit her surgeon, Dr. J. Kirk Martin with saving her life and giving her (at least) 3 more good years thus far. Once she had recuperated from the 8 hour surgery, she was then helped by Dr. George Kim in Oncology and Dr. Ko in Radiology through 6 months of ea radiation and chemotherapy. Thank you experts at the Mayo Clinic !

It wasn’t an easy year, but she was still with us. She then was cancer free and moved back to Lakeland FL (3 hours south of me.) We always knew it was going to come back…and sure enough… a year ago they told Mom that it was back and that she probably had 2 to 3 months left to live. That was a year ago! She got all the things done “on her bucket list” and moved back in with me in December so we could share some good times before the bad times hit.

FAST FORWARD to today…the bad times are here. 3 years Post-Operation and the cancer has now spread throughout the abdomen and is causing UTI infections / blockages in the portal veins and splenic veins / lots of nerve pain. After a brief 2 day stay at the BRAND NEW Mayo Hospital here (next to the clinic) they sent Mom home under Hospice Care to manage the pain.

And hence the question: What do you get a Mom that has everything and is living with pancreatic cancer?

Go here to read the answer.


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