Hello everyone.

My brother was diagnosed with pacreatic cancer at Christmas. It had already spread to liver and lungs and the prognosis is poor. However, he is only 43 with three young children and a huge fighting spirit. He is currently on his 11th cycle of chemo and finding it incredibly hard going. Its a little difficult to determine how much of his symptoms are the cancer, and how much are side effects of the chemo.I guess I am just wondering if anyone has experienced the same and made a good recovery from the chemo?

  • Hi Midgetgem

    I am sorry to hear about your brother. I'm afraid the chemo is often hard going though it varies from person to person. And, as you say, it is difficult to know which is chemo and which is cancer. Again, feeling better after chemo varies from person to person but the effects do wear off gradually. I hope that he has some quality of life.


  • Thank you so much for your response x

  • Hello and welcome to this supportive group.

    You may want to chat with the PCUK nurses to see if they can advise about this type of cancer in a more specific way.

    I'm so sorry, he's very young and with children which is sad.

    What type of chemo is he on and what have any scans shown?

    He may be eligible for trails, if he finds out about any currently going on. 

    It can be hard to determine whats what in terms of chemo effects and the actual cancer- there can be an overlap.

    What symptoms/ side effects is he experiencing?

    My Dad has spread to the liver and lungs (and elsewhere and is terminal) so may be able to help...

    All the best x

  • Hello.

    Thank you for responding so comprehensively. 

    So sorry to hear about your Dad...how is he doing currently? Was he able to have chemo?

    I am not sure of the exact name of his chemo to be honest. His half way scans showed that the tumours in his liver were shrinking which was great news. Not much difference to his pancreas, a little more on his lungs and some spread to bone ( chest and hip). He just has one cycle left. His main symptom is just being completely wiped out and feeling very unwell, but his cough and breathing seem to be worsening. His consultant said they may be able to do some targeted treatment for his lungs after his chemo has finished. I am not sure about trials as it is yet another thing that was talked about and came to nothing! 

    He now has more scans booked in a few weeks so I guess that will tell us more definitively where he he is at.

    Thanks again xx

  • My sister is 49 and she has pancreatic cancer with spread, she declined chemo saying she didn’t want to be ill from the side effects of chemo for the time she has left. It’s so hard to deal with this kind of diagnosis in loved ones, especially those so young. 

    My sister was diagnosed in January this year and she’s doing well so far- she has days when she’s knackered but also days when you’d wonder if there is anything wrong with her at all. 

    Hoping your brother gets some quality time with you all soon. It’s such a cruel disease. Sending hugs 

  • Hello, no probs!

    My Dad had the whipple in Aug 19, followed by some Folfirinox chemo for 6 months.

    Had a period of no recurrence, then this time last year a scan showed recurrence in the para-aortic lymph nodes. 

    He had some 18 rounds of palliative chemo- abraxane and gemzar, but it had no effect and subsequently spread. Its in a number of organs now inc the liver and lungs as well as the bones. He has v small clots in his lungs which is being treated by blood thinners. This gave him some issues with breathing and discomfort which has got better now.

    He is terminal and has reasonable days where he has short trips out locally and bad days- the main thing is tiredness and not eating well. Although his prognosis isn't good, he surprises us with his stoic outlook and resilience.

    Its fair to say though that in the past two-three months, he has deteriorated. Whilst its good that he is still with us, quality of life matters and more recently that has dipped.

    I really hope you soon get some positive news about your brother, sounds as though so far there's been some shrinkage, which is great. I hope that continues for you both - watching loved ones go through this is just horrible.

    Keep us posted xx

  • Thank you. So sorry to hear about your sister...so young also. What a brave and difficult choice to make regarding chemo. I can understand not wanting to go through it, especially when there are no guarantees. Its amazing to hear that she is having good days and staying strong. 

    Sending thoughts your way. X

  • Yes it is so hard watching them deteriorate and knowing nothing can really change the course for them. He sounds like he a fighter though and I really hope he keeps on surprising you. I am glad the thinners are working. My brother was also rushed in not long after diagnosis with blood clots on both lungs but it has stabilised too with treatment.

    Thinking of you.