The tumor wasn’t visible on the last scan, but the pancreatic cancer was never thought to have gone completely away. It’s insidious stuff. Systemically adapting itself to survive, while you do the same.
I’m convinced there’s no perfect way to weather illness, particularly an illness that has a poor prognosis. Most days though, I think those who go through it do the same thing.
They suck it up. They pretend it’s just another day. And they try to be tough; crying in private moments and showing a brave face the rest of the time, because that’s what people in their lives have come to expect from them.
When asked how they are they say “fine”. Not because they actually are, but because if they indicated they weren’t OK they would just begin sobbing, crumple into a heap on the floor and never get back up.
I really think It’s like that for Mom right now.
Rising Blood Sugars
In the last month, elevated blood sugar have been a problem. So has abdominal pain that radiates into her back and is pretty much a constant.
Upon waking, normal blood sugar levels should be in the 100-120 range, but Mom’s sugars are running around 180-200 in the morning. Even two hours after eating, sometimes they are two, to two and a half times higher.
Elevated blood sugars are making her feel fuzzy headed, dizzy and the sensation in her feet is somewhat numb, all of which are making her balance less than optimum for navigating even short distances without a walker or a steady arm.
It’s frustrating and scary.
Adapting To Changes
The pancreas is the likely cause of this current condition as it maintains the blood sugar balance in the body. When the pancreas is sick with cancer, blood sugar spikes and variations are expected, and can be difficult to manage.
Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas that managed blood sugar, and if blood sugars are running high, then the body needs more insulin. Thus, Mom will start giving herself insulin shots next week and see Dr. Savage, her oncologist, on the 29th of September.
With any luck the insulin and dietary adjustments will be enough to make her feel better.
A scan of some type is likely to be scheduled by Dr.Savage, especially if her CA119 numbers have gone up in a dramatic way.
For now we’re educating ourselves on the diabetic diet and low glycemic index foods, hoping to find foods that don’t compromise her Coumadin (blood thinner) and help to lower her blood sugar naturally.
Honestly, it’s all overwhelming at times. But if you ask… “we’re fine”.