I thought pancreatic cancer was about to win!

Recently I’ve watched several people I never met die from pancreatic cancer, stage 4.

I felt close to them because we all shared the same disease. One person was Alex Trebeck, whom I believe many people shared the same sense that they lost a good friend. Another was RGB, an American icon. The final, a regular person, like me.  The most amazing connection was how quickly each of them turned from seeming to feel okay to miserable to gone.  Pancreatic cancer is a swift killer.

About the same time I’d been working hard to embrace the “life of slow”, a terrible case of “feeling very miserable” set in. I was provided an extended stay in the hospital to gain yet another stent in my apparent quest to become bionic, and received antibiotics to deal with a serious bacteria infection.

I came home, but I wasn’t getting well; Every day I felt a little worse and couldn’t get a handle on it.

So, I began to wonder if this was the beginning of the end.  The good part is that… I was ready.  It would have been okay.  I think that if you have a disease that you know is going to end your life at some point, you can come to terms with that. If you don’t have that disease, I suspect it’s hard to imagine how that is possible.

Of course I’d like to survive this pandemic and be able to dance in the streets!  I’d love to see my granddaughter grow and thrive in the world. My three boys are living good lives and I’d like to see all the places they will go. I’d like a few more walks in the woods with my husband. But we don’t have control of what we will and will not be able to do, so I’m okay. Too many people have had their lives ripped away from them suddenly from Covid, so I’m really okay.

I still have lots of hope for myself and everyone I love, I have faith in what will be and I feel surrounded by love.  After cleaning out closets, pre-confirming funeral plans and organizing finances, those three (faith, hope and love) are all that matter now. 

Fortunately, my doctor had a few more tricks up his sleeve, so I’m back to wandering slowly around the neighborhood with my dog and calling it a walk. I’m feeling slightly less miserable.

Feeling the need for my small immediate family to be together on the Thanksgiving holiday this one last time, we are going to gather, probably eating outside and chatting from afar wrapped in lots and lots of layers.  We will be super careful because we all hope to gather again for Christmas and want to make sure everyone will still be here.  

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This is my blog about living my life with Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer—End stage. I joked about writing this imaginary blog when I spent a year on a treatment that allowed me only 10 days to feel well enough to live a fairly normal life. (Actually normal doesn’t even really exist for me anymore!) To earn those good days, I spent the previous 10 days living in post-chemo treatment physical hell – that also became normal in a perverse way. I’m also writing to honor those who are diagnosed with Stage Four Pancreatic Cancer. You might live longer than you expect and I want you to have someone who tells you what that’s like. There aren’t many role models for people with this because, well, they’re usually gone. So, this is for you. Maybe your journey will be similar to mine. Actually, it will probably be very different because “everyone is different.” Even still, maybe this will still be a bit of a guide.

6 thoughts on “I thought pancreatic cancer was about to win!”

  1. I’m glad you are able to enjoy time with your family this Thanksgiving. Praying that you continue to enjoy and appreciate the little things in life, as you are so good at doing! Love you my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kathy, Kathy… Such a touching post. I’m so happy to hear you will be with some of the family for turkey day. Wishing you a Thanksgiving that fills you with all three – faith, hope, and very much love. Happy Thanksgiving to you. Sending very much love your way. ❤️❤️❤️ 😘 Mary & Avery

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your extended family will be with your for the holiday as well, even if only in spirit. I am thankful for you, my cousin, as you share this journey and give hope, love and faith literally your life.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your attitude in facing pain and end of life is amazing, not sure I could be so strong and not wallow in self pity. But you, my friend, continue to inspire those around you with your attitude of faith, hope, and love and are a role model. I am so happy you could have a family Thanksgiving and enjoy your loved ones. I think of you often and walk beside you on your journey as so many others do. You are not alone. I hope you feel all of our love.

    Liked by 1 person

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