While stage IV pancreatic cancer carries a dismal prognosis, you should be aware that every single cancer patient is a unique individual . . and since cancer is your own DNA which as stopped functioning properly, that means that every single cancer is unique to that person. What you will hear are statistics . . chances . . prognosis . . but they are in general terms. Your grandmother is her own unique person with her own set of strengths. Outcome for any cancer depends on the type of disease, location, stage it was found in, grade (aggressiveness of tumor), the patients age, overall health, and response to first line treatment.
You are not being misled when doctors or even your grandmother say they do not know how long she will live. The truth is that no one knows how long they will live whether they have cancer or not . .you do not know how long you will live. What is important is that she is alive right now, right this moment and that is really the only thing you can count on. Treatment may extend her life or it may not . . no one knows . . treatment might give her remission . . or not . . no one knows. What doctors are trying to do now for advanced cancer patients is to find a medication to CONTROL the cancer (much like diabetics take insulin to control their diabetes). If the doctor can find a chemo drug that your grandmother can take daily and gives her good quality of life than your gran may do better than anyone expects. Focus on today. Focus on hope. Good luck.