← Return to Pancreatic Cancer - No signs of spread, Whipple Candidate

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Hi All. Over the past two weeks I have learnt I have 3cm tumour - mucinous cystic neoplasm with nodule presence - in the pancreas head with no spread to other organs, and am headed into whipple surgery in 7 days. Presence of cancer and spread to lymph nodes to be determined via biopsy. I am a mother under 50, obese but relatively healthy otherwise. Nervous about this high risk surgery, as I have a young family including teenaged boys.

Any thoughts about how to mentally prepare children for this, especially when one is barely holding it together oneself? Thank you.

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Replies to "Hi All. Over the past two weeks I have learnt I have 3cm tumour - mucinous..."

Perhaps you can focus on the fact that the Whipple offers you an opportunity which isn't available to cancer patients with mets (such is my case)? So, while your surgery has its own risks and challenges your prospects after surgery should be much improved. Good luck and I look forward to learning how you're doing. Best,

I hope all goes well - I got my tumor in the middle and it’s so close to the arteries they keep trying to shrink
It so I can have surgery (caught very early 2cm) - I lived a great life but I am torn between constant pain chemo and otherwise and the burning desire to see my 12 y/o grow up. He is acting pretty cool but kinda clams up when any body talks to him about it. I have always been factual with him including now. I’m hoping that you have a successful surgery. I use terms like just in case stuff goes wrong and in the future I’d I get really sick... just trying to prepare him... I also find a cool uncle or auntie makes conversation a little less intense. Sorry to be scattered but in pain meds -sending good vibes your way.

I have Stage III PC. Its inoperable. I am taking chemo and it is working. You are fortunate your PC is caught early and has not spread! Think of your surgery as an opportunity to survive - think positive thoughts. Think wellness. You can do this!

Ellie, you got great advice from @dubbscopper about talking to teens about cancer. I think you both might appreciate this related discussion:

- Family dynamics challenging when a parent has cancer: Want to connect https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/group-focused-on-families-and-parent-with-cancer/

I provided a few additional resources in that discussion. My personal thoughts are: 1) be honest with your teens, including to share your feelings even if they mean sharing that you're scared or worried, and 2) don't be alarmed if they don't seem worried or are able to continue with teen behavior. It's a stage of life where self-absorption is their primary brain function.