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Steve Jobs – Possible recurrence of pancreatic cancer


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By: dorisjdickson


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Posted: Jan 15, 2009 14:53
  • 1 Comment.
  • Steve Jobs – Possible recurrence of pancreatic cancer

    I will have to admit I know little about pancreatic cancer.  I know that most variations, in most cases, are rapidly lethal.  I know I feel highly empathetic towards anyone who has received the diagnosis.  I know that I am very happy living with diabetes especially relative to the idea of having this type of cancer.

     

    However, with the announcement yesterday that Steve Jobs may have a recurrence of the rare form of pancreatic cancer he had in 2004, discussions on all sorts of topics are flying.  The one most interesting to an insulin diabetic is this …

     

    First and foremost, we assume Mr. Jobs survives, survives well, goes back to work and is healthy. 

     

    Second, Mr. Jobs reportedly had a Whipple procedure during his first bout with pancreatic cancer.  (For the record, the cancer is different than Patrick Swayze’s in that it is not considered terminal and does not require chemotherapy or radiation.)  A Whipple procedure, in short, is partial removal of his pancreas.  The Whipple procedure may cause a reduction in hormones, including insulin production and release.

     

    So the conjecture:  1) the Whipple procedure caused a hormone and/or an insulin deficiency which led to the noticeable weight loss and prompted the announced medical leave and 2) Mr. Jobs is having his pancreas removed in entirety and will be an entirely insulin dependent diabetic upon exit from the operating room.

     

    For the moment, of insulin-dependent diabetic interest, is the possibility that Mr. Jobs, who runs one of the best technology companies in the world, is now entirely insulin-dependent and what that means.  Again, we are assuming Mr. Jobs will recover completely. 

     

    So, if Mr. Jobs is an insulin-dependent diabetic and a “techie” what might that mean?  What I guarantee it means is that he will not be happy using syringes, bottles of insulin and highly inaccurate glucose testing (hand held or the continuous glucose monitoring variety). 

     

    So, it is likely that Mr. Jobs will try a pump and a CGMS.   I think he will quickly ascertain they are substandard to his idea of technology.  I think that he will also dislike that the CGMS still must to be calibrated multiple times per day and he must still prick his finger, that it is 20% inaccurate, has a 20 minute delay and that it does not tell a pump what to do.  That is, it is not a closed-end loop.

     

    Now, this is where the hope comes into play … I do not think this is an “if,” I think this is a “how long” will it take Steve Jobs to throw the best insulin delivery and glucose monitoring products we currently have in the trash and pull his I-Pod engineers into the world of diabetes? 

     

    Look out guys … with a great deal of misfortune to the Jobs family, a little bit of luck to the diabetes community, and a little Apple backing, I think we might be just be in for the best tools technology ride of our diabetes careers.  Imagine, the closed loop system, accurate glucose monitoring, apple interfaces, an I-Pod or an I-Phone to boot (all-in-one)

     

    Look out pump, CGMS and glucose monitoring manufacturers, in Emeril’s words, you just might have to “kick it up a notch!”

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  • By: FatCatAnna: Jan, 15, 2009 19:00 PM

    Actually, you should be saying "Look out for FatCatAnna" - because this is a topic dear to my heart - insulin pumping and CGMS! <lol>

    I belong to a few online pump groups – and have “meet” many folks such as Mr. Jobs that have undergone pancreatic cancer.  They have had to go onto insulin – and most of them immediately went onto the insulin pump – because in my honest opinion – it is as close to our own pancreas that went on permanent holiday without telling us where it went (and didn't take us with it).  That is, if the brain behind the insulin pump is willing to do abit of work (pumping requires initially more work in the beginning – and then things fall into place).  I was much like you Doris – dead set about going onto a machine that pumps insulin into me along with tubing, etc.  I was doing fine on multiple doseage injecting (MDI) of 10 or more a day – but I wanted to see what it was all about – be a little guinea pig once again.  The same applied to the CGMS – but was offered as part of the package with the first pump I tried out. 

     

    Mr. Jobs is not the only one out there who is trying to improve on technology in both insulin pumps and CGMS.  Even though insulin pumps – and I’m just going by memory – as pumping is still all new to me – has only been around since the late '70's.  To see what the original pump looks like – is like comparing the first pocket calculator (pant pockets in the 80’s were bigger then) to what we find today on the market.  Check out this link for a few pictures if you don't believe me ... http://tudiabetes.com/forum/topics/first-insulin-pump. 

    The pump I wear – the Animas 2020 – is currently the smallest one on the market … for now.   Many advances in strengths of insulin (U500 is on the market) will change this – as the insulin cartridge will be smaller.  As far as CGMS, it still has a few quirks about it – but the companies making them know the problems associated with them and are working on improving it.  Also, you do not have to do multiple BG testing as stated above – calibration of 4 times a day is what is recommended – anymore – and then you screw up the programming (trust me – been there, done that).  Many people swear by the CGMS as they are not hypo aware – and the CGMS has proven invaluable to them. 

     

    You have to remember as well – the insulin pump/CGMS are tools – it does not function without the brains of the person wearing it – YOU RUN THE SHOW – you carry the whip to bring it to attention!   People who are not now in control of their diabetes with MDI/BG testing – in my personal opinion are not good candidates for an insulin pump – it initially requires abit of work – setting up programming, etc. with a CDE of course along with endo/doctor.  I think it was easier for me in adjusting to the insulin pump because of my “poor mans pump” of MDI – but I still had a learning curve that was pretty darn frustrating at times. 

     

    Anyway, I look forward to Mr. Jobs entering into my realm – sad that he has to become a diabetic this way – but if he can improve things for us – making insulin pumping more affordable to those that can’t afford that luxury!  I wonder if I email him – he might hire me on as a part of his team???

     

     

     



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    Posted: Jan 15, 2009 14:53
  • 0 Comments.
  • Steve Jobs – Possible recurrence of pancreatic cancer

    I will have to admit I know little about pancreatic cancer.  I know that most variations, in most cases, are rapidly lethal.  I know I feel highly empathetic towards anyone who has received the diagnosis.  I know that I am very happy living with diabetes especially relative to the idea of having this type of cancer.

     

    However, with the announcement yesterday that Steve Jobs may have a recurrence of the rare form of pancreatic cancer he had in 2004, discussions on all sorts of topics are flying.  The one most interesting to an insulin diabetic is this …

     

    First and foremost, we assume Mr. Jobs survives, survives well, goes back to work and is healthy. 

     

    Second, Mr. Jobs reportedly had a Whipple procedure during his first bout with pancreatic cancer.  (For the record, the cancer is different than Patrick Swayze’s in that it is not considered terminal and does not require chemotherapy or radiation.)  A Whipple procedure, in short, is partial removal of his pancreas.  The Whipple procedure may cause a reduction in hormones, including insulin production and release.

     

    So the conjecture:  1) the Whipple procedure caused a hormone and/or an insulin deficiency which led to the noticeable weight loss and prompted the announced medical leave and 2) Mr. Jobs is having his pancreas removed in entirety and will be an entirely insulin dependent diabetic upon exit from the operating room.

     

    For the moment, of insulin-dependent diabetic interest, is the possibility that Mr. Jobs, who runs one of the best technology companies in the world, is now entirely insulin-dependent and what that means.  Again, we are assuming Mr. Jobs will recover completely. 

     

    So, if Mr. Jobs is an insulin-dependent diabetic and a “techie” what might that mean?  What I guarantee it means is that he will not be happy using syringes, bottles of insulin and highly inaccurate glucose testing (hand held or the continuous glucose monitoring variety). 

     

    So, it is likely that Mr. Jobs will try a pump and a CGMS.   I think he will quickly ascertain they are substandard to his idea of technology.  I think that he will also dislike that the CGMS still must to be calibrated multiple times per day and he must still prick his finger, that it is 20% inaccurate, has a 20 minute delay and that it does not tell a pump what to do.  That is, it is not a closed-end loop.

     

    Now, this is where the hope comes into play … I do not think this is an “if,” I think this is a “how long” will it take Steve Jobs to throw the best insulin delivery and glucose monitoring products we currently have in the trash and pull his I-Pod engineers into the world of diabetes? 

     

    Look out guys … with a great deal of misfortune to the Jobs family, a little bit of luck to the diabetes community, and a little Apple backing, I think we might be just be in for the best tools technology ride of our diabetes careers.  Imagine, the closed loop system, accurate glucose monitoring, apple interfaces, an I-Pod or an I-Phone to boot (all-in-one)

     

    Look out pump, CGMS and glucose monitoring manufacturers, in Emeril’s words, you just might have to “kick it up a notch!”

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