2 thoughts on “Alex Trebek, Pancreatic Cancer and a Cautionary Tale

  • November 7, 2019 at 9:27 am

    Catching it early, unfortunately, may just mean you know that you have the disease for a longer period of time. True, a lucky few have survived with the Whipple but it is a devastatingly invasive treatment which can in itself cause death. Life after Whipple can involve chronic pain and the end of eating. Read Joyce Maynard’s memoir of her husband’s experience. She regrets encouraging him to have the procedure. Quality of life was horrible and he never had a day free from pain afterwards. What is really needed is some kind of very early detection–BEFORE symptoms–and of course new treatments. So sorry for the loss of your friend.

    Reply
    • November 7, 2019 at 12:27 pm

      Indeed, the Whipple is no fun; is not always curative; is not a simple operation, without likely ongoing issues. It’s what is called a “witch with a capital ‘B’.”

      But re: my friend and former office manager, my point is IF she had followed though from January to some point before it was absolutely too late, the Whipple–or genetic analysis for clinical trials, or something–may have been a possibility. By her not doing anything–ignoring the physician’s suspicion, etc.,–she negated any and all possibility of a bit more of life…or minimally, to have properly planned for her inevitable death. As it was, three days before her death, folks were trying to get a Will together. She died before that could be done, leaving her everything unassigned.

      Thank you for your expressions and for writing. –Dr. MTM

      Reply
 

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