Mother’s Day Gift for a Mom Who Has Everything (including Pancreatic Cancer)


On Mother’s Day, Jeanine Peterson told the story on her blog of the special gift she gave her mom, a Mayo Clinic patient. With her mom’s permission, we share a portion of the story here:

History: 3 years ago Mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at age 62. Pancreatic cancer is one of the most serious and deadliest cancers. Depending on the extent of the cancer at the time of diagnosis, the prognosis is generally regarded as poor; less than 5 percent of those diagnosed are still alive five years after diagnosis. The death rate related to surgery at hospitals that do not do these operations every day is FOUR TIMES as high as at high volume hospitals. So, my sister and I took her to Mayo Clinic in my home city of Jacksonville FL.

At Mayo, they perform the Whipple Surgery (resection of the pancreas) more than 350 times a year. That is a lot of practice to get it right! I truly credit her surgeon, Dr. J. Kirk Martin with saving her life and giving her (at least) 3 more good years thus far. Once she had recuperated from the 8 hour surgery, she was then helped by Dr. George Kim in Oncology and Dr. Ko in Radiology through 6 months of ea radiation and chemotherapy. Thank you experts at the Mayo Clinic !

It wasn’t an easy year, but she was still with us. She then was cancer free and moved back to Lakeland FL (3 hours south of me.) We always knew it was going to come back…and sure enough… a year ago they told Mom that it was back and that she probably had 2 to 3 months left to live. That was a year ago! She got all the things done “on her bucket list” and moved back in with me in December so we could share some good times before the bad times hit.

FAST FORWARD to today…the bad times are here. 3 years Post-Operation and the cancer has now spread throughout the abdomen and is causing UTI infections / blockages in the portal veins and splenic veins / lots of nerve pain. After a brief 2 day stay at the BRAND NEW Mayo Hospital here (next to the clinic) they sent Mom home under Hospice Care to manage the pain.

And hence the question: What do you get a Mom that has everything and is living with pancreatic cancer?

Go here to read the answer.

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4 Responses to “Mother’s Day Gift for a Mom Who Has Everything (including Pancreatic Cancer)”

  1. Mary Burns Says:

    My associate, Margo, and I saw the “charming older couple playing the piano in your atrium” video. We are pleased that Mayo is spreading the positive healing energy that hospitals provide their patients. Well done.

  2. Kathy Riordan Says:

    Thanks for sharing your story. My husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in June 2004, had Whipple surgery at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota in August 2004, and after a complicated eight-month hospitalization and four years following, thankfully is still with us. It’s been a long road. God bless you and your mother, and thank God for the wonderful care at Mayo Clinic.

  3. Jan Kelsey Says:

    A beautiful thought, very creative! Cherish the moments and keep making happy memories. You are so lucky to have her there with you. Wish I could have done that with my Mom. You are doing a great thing! Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Jan

  4. Debbie Harris Says:

    I know your WONDERFUL mother and she is a very beautiful person inside and out. I know this gift meant the world to her BUT it is you and your family that keeps her with us. I love most the way you are with your mother daily. Patches will remind me of your love for your mother and her love for you.

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