by Katie Lane
(Atlanta, Georgia )
Homecoming October 2012- My grandmother and I
Jane- Thank you so much for having this amazing website. My family and I found your website very useful during my grandmother's battle with pancan.
Hi, I'm Katie. I'm 16 years old. And this is the story about an amazing strong woman that I was happy to call my grandma.. She fought hard even though all the odds were against her.
So the nightmare started when my grandma was getting blood clots in her legs… We didn't know what was causing this but she was hospitalized a few times. The hospital decided to send her to a doctor that specialized in blood disorders. That doctor was not only a blood disorder doctor but he was also an oncologist. The doc did CT scan and found tumors in the tail of her pancreas which also spread to her liver. Sadly we caught the cancer in a really late stage. She was diagnosed with Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer on September 24 2012.
Her doctor said if she had no chemo she would have 3-6 months to live but if she chose chemo she would have 6 to possibly 12 months to live. She decided to take chemo, her chemo was called 5FU. She would basically go and get chemo at the hospital then she would take home a chemo pump that she would carry around in a little purse for two days (she called it Ivan The Terrible) and then she would go back to the doctor and they would remove it. She lived with us from September-early December. By the end of November she started to start a slow downfall. I remember she would tell me she could feel the tumors growing in her and was uncomfortable. In early December she was moved out of our house from other family members. After she left our house I didn't really see her much. That was really hard on me.. Because not only was she dying but she was my best friend.
My family strongly believes that the chemo prolonged her life for about 3 months but by 4th month her body started to reject it. In the beginning of the 4th month she started a rapid downfall.. She constantly slept and was very weak and didn't eat much. I remember about 3 weeks before she passed away, I sent my aunt a video to show grandma, of me saying goodnight and telling her how much I loved her. My mom was there when my aunt played the video for my grandma and my mom said that grandma was sleeping but once my aunt played the video my grandma woke up and she “Ohh my Katie-bug” and that was the last words she really said about me. I visited her the night before she passed away and I painted her nails and I told her my final goodbyes, even though she was asleep.. A day later passed away on March 10th 2013.
I took about a week off school and it was really hard to know that my best friend, my shopping partner, my soccer fan, the one who would go hiking in the woods with me because no one else would, the one who was there when I shot my first gun, most importantly my grandma, It was really hard to know that my grandma was gone forever.
Pancreatic cancer is very brutal. Pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality rate of all major cancers. 94% of pancreatic cancer patients will die within five years of diagnosis. 74% of patients die within the first year of diagnosis. So cherish the first few months you have with your loved one. I will never forget the first few months I had with her when she lived in my house.
My love for my grandmother is endless and I miss her more and more everyday. But I know she's looking down smiling
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