Looking back, February 2nd still seems surreal. This was the day when we found out that there is a mass on mom’s pancreas. It was a shock and our world changed that day. We all met at mom and dad’s house and didn’t quite know what to do with the news. Mom was sent for blood tests that day, and it became a very uncomfortable and scary waiting period to see what the blood results would show and mean. The following week mom had a contrast CT scan and saw her doctor on February 9th. This was the day when the doctor read out the results saying it’s “very worrisome that it is cancer”. This was of course our greatest fear and tough news to absorb. Mom’s brother passed away just six months earlier from pancreatic cancer. It seemed impossible and surreal that our family would be faced with this diagnosis twice in such a short period of time. The realization that it may run in the family was also tough to swallow.
Mom’s doctor booked the earliest possible appointment with a pancreatic surgeon, Dr. S, for February 28th. Waiting for this appointment was agonizing. It was a new lesson for us, to be told that getting in for February 28th is actually really fast. It didn’t feel fast at all. Not for this type of diagnosis. Mom was also continuing to experience pain in her abdominal area which she was managing by taking tylenol.
Mom, dad and the three us all went to the Dr. S appointment on February 28th. A family trip. We weren’t all allowed in, so Sasha, also known in our family as “the family doctor” was appointed to accompany mom and dad to the surgeon’s office, while Maria and I sat outside. When the three of them re-emerged from the office there were smiles and a sense of relief, as the surgeon seemed to think that surgery would be an option. He looked at the scans and said “you just might be lucky!” – these words happily echoed in our head as we left his office that day. We were told the next step would be to get a biopsy done on the mass, which would take another two weeks to arrange. Although it was frustrating to hear we have to wait for yet another two weeks for the next step, we went for a celebratory lunch, and it was so nice to spend time together in hopeful anticipation of surgery.