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Old 04-13-2013, 04:37 PM   #1
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Pancreatic cancer

Hey everyone,

My wifes father was just diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He has 6 months at most. Being in the medical field I do not think he has that long at all based on his symptoms. Maybe weeks at best.

My wife is extremely close to him and is the only caregiver available since
her other family is out of state.

I just do not know how to help here through this, everything i am doing to help feel meaningless.

Has anyone had experience with PC ? What was the progression? I feel my wife is burning herself out , and its destroying her.

We also had a major trip planned in 2 months , which we paid for, non refundable plane tickets.... I have no idea what to do about that!!

Also i was throwing her a surprise birthday party next month and most of those out of two. People were suppose to come. I am thinking of canceling it because all those people might have to be here for a funeral in a few months if it goes the way most people say it will!!

I could use some perspective from outside !

Thanks DIS
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Old 04-13-2013, 04:48 PM   #2
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I doubt that what you're doing to help your wife is meaningless. I'd say if you can lighten her burden around your home (? and family), it would free her up more to help her dad. She may be burning out, but it sounds it may only be for a short time, and she won't want to have any regrets later on about helping her dad, so I'd say, let her do what she feels she must. As for the trip and the party, I don't know. I probably wouldn't be in the mood for those if it were me, but she may be different. Have you talked to her about the trip? See how she feels on that, then you can gauge how she's likely to feel about the surprise party. Unless you're hiring a party planner, a lot of time and energy go into planning a party, and that energy is something I'd rather conserve to put into the care of my father right now (or in your case, supporting your wife), but again, that's me.

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Old 04-13-2013, 10:59 PM   #3
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I'm terribly sorry to hear this.

Cancer is a beast. Pancreatic Cancer (in my opinion) is a different kind of beast. I wish your family, extended and everyone the best.

Pea has offered great advice.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:07 PM   #4
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My mom died from pancreatic CA. I would keep the routine going in everyone's life. I am sure her dad would not want her to not stop living because of this. Celebrate what time they have together. The party if he is up to it may be good. It will also be your wife's last Birthday with him. He may enjoy seeing other family members. The trip will depend how he is doing right prior.
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:07 AM   #5
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She hit a wall today after a week straight of all day visits...feel asleep as soon as she got home.
All great advice, thanks guys
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Old 04-14-2013, 09:03 AM   #6
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Very sorry that your family has to go through this. My mom died of Pancreatic cancer. When she was diagnosed, her medical team gave her only 3 months to live, but she held on for over 15 months. I think a lot of this has so much to do with attitude and faith and spirit; she was sure she could beat it.

She will definitely need some diversions periodically through this and as much help as everyone can give so she can spend some extra time with her father. But encourage her to still take a day off, do something for herself to get some down time and relaxation, she will be better able to help her dad and be there for this that way. The surprise party is probably a great idea, but you may have to forewarn the guest not to dwell on the cancer topic.

Talk to your wife and ask her what she wants to do. Let her take the lead on taking a trip or not. The best plan is probably to postpone if it is touch and go. That won't be as much about how strong her dad is but how much she will worry. When he passes she will definitely need something to take her away from this so a trip then may be much more beneficial than now. Call the airline and explain, they should let you reschedule for later given the situation.
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Old 05-23-2013, 04:49 PM   #7
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I am so sorry to hear about your loved one's cancer. Pancreatic cancer sucks. My mom died from it 2.5 years ago. She lived with it for 18 months before it took her life away. It was really hard emotionally.

I think that you should keep the surprise party. In fact, you should tell the sick relative about the party that you are planning because maybe it will give him something really cool to look forward to.

Keep everyone on the invite list and let them decide whether or not to attend the funeral. You may find that your out of town friends and family will uae it as an opportunity to say goodbye and I love you one last time.

I kind of did something similar when my mom was very very ill and I am glad I handled it that way. She had the chance to tell some very dear friends in person how much their love and friendship meant to her.

Your wife will definitely need your help with regards to taking care of HERself so that she does not burn out. She might need a caregivers support group. Feel free to send me a PM. I'd be happy to exchange emails with your wife about it because sometimes it helps to compare notes with someone who has "been there, done that."
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