Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Pancreatic Cancer: Hell On Earth

Yes, that's what I said.  HELL on earth.  Although my Daddy has some good days right now, he is having many more BAD ones.  A week ago today he had his 3rd chemo treatment.  This one has been rough, and although my parents try to shield us (and everybody else), I can see with my own eyes what it is doing to my Daddy.  The weight loss is staggering.  He was once a size 36, really needs to be in a 32 now, but won't give up the 34's.  Maybe it's a mind thing with him, I'm not quite sure, but he is wearing suspenders to hold up pants that are entirely too big for him!  Every time I see him, it's alarming at the weight loss...did I mention I HATE cancer? 

After his 1st chemo treatment, the tumor size had been reduced by 20%.  He was full of hope at that 2nd treatment and was ready for them to bring it on!  Last week, the marker numbers for his cancer were back up to where they were at his diagnosis.  My sister and I did all kinds of research and reading and told him not all oncologists use these marker numbers, not to even think about it, because his state of mind has as much to do with his healing as anything.  I truly believe this.  He said he had put his trust in God, not those numbers, that he is going to be okay.  Let me tell you, pancreatic cancer is painful.  My Dad's tumor is in the body of the pancreas, and touching vessels and nerves.  Right now, because of the pain medications he is taking, his pain is bearable.  It's the side effects of the chemo regimen that make daily life a roller coaster for him and my Mother right now.  I don't know where her strength comes from, and some days I see through it, but she's a trooper.  She's his primary caregiver at home, and like him, she's having good days and bad days. 

My Daddy has always been a very independent, busy body kind of a man.  Pancreatic cancer is taking that from him.  One day he may get outside on his tractor and spend hours doing yardwork, and the next he is almost totally wiped out from the day before.  He pastors a small country church, and cancer has all but taken that from him as well.  Can you imagine how YOUR life would be changed by this disease?  I cannot even begin to know what he really feels knowing the current survival rate of  pancreatic cancer.  The statistics are scary.  This cancer is scary.  I want my Daddy to be one of the "all too rare" survivors of this HELL on earth! 

I am trying to put my anger, sadness, and frustration about my Daddy's illness into something positive.  In August, I will be doing my first ever 5k.  I have partnered with Pancreatica Walks/Runs through to raise funds for research and funding.  They have sent me all the "purple" things I need to bring awareness to the event, as far as I know, I'm the only one raising funds for Pancreatica at this event in August.  To make donations to Pancreatica and show your support for me, go to the link below and give whatever you can!  Take your lunch money for one day, your coffee money, roll up some change, whatever it takes, give to this organization so that lives can be saved!  Pancreatic cancer is relentless.  This could be your Mom, Dad, spouse, child.  It does not discriminate.  Help me create a little bit of HOPE.  Thank you.



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