After being back on the job after months of absence, Mr. Thompson was forced to return to the United States for more medical treatment, after complications developed, while on the job.
The Prime Minister then authorized his doctor to disclose the nature of his illness. Doctor Richard Ismael has stated that, “After consultations with three renowned pancreatic surgeons, it was decided that the best course of action, was for him to undergo intense chemotherapy to try to treat the tumor first, to enable its safe removal.”
According to the doctor, Mr. Thompson has had four rounds of chemotherapy, followed by repeat abdominal scans which have shown a moderate shrinkage of the tumor with no new spread. The doctor said that they were at that point, when he, (the Prime Minister), returned to Barbados at the end of August, with the intention of returning to New York, in three weeks time, for another round of chemotherapy, followed by more scans and then surgery, if feasible.
However, last week Sunday, (September 12), after having been quite well for the entire week, performing his duties as Prime Minister, he developed severe abdominal pain and vomiting. An urgent scan of the abdomen revealed that he had developed a clot in the veins surrounding the pancreas.
The doctor said that Prime Minister Thompson is now being treated in a New York hospital and is expected to be released next week. He is said to be in good spirit.
However, according to most medical experts, the rate of survival for patients with pancreatic cancer is very low. The disease is sometimes referred to as a silent killer because early pancreatic cancer does not usually reveal any symptoms and the later symptoms are normally non specific and varied. It is therefore not usually diagnosed until it has already reached an advanced stage.
The difficulty to diagnose is partly due to the deep location of the pancreas in the abdomen. The collective survival time is four months.
Among the signs that eventually emerge are loss of appetite, significant weight loss, pain in the upper abdomen that typically radiates to the back, diabetes, painless jaundice, (yellow skin/eyes and dark urine) and blood clots.
Meanwhile, Barbados’ Leader of the Opposition, Mia Motley has called on her countrymen to pray for the Prime Minister. She said that she is very sorry to hear about the illness of Mr. Thompson. She said that this is a very difficult time for Mr. Thompson’s family and the country.