Help with getting better after Wipple procedure

Posted by sofiadide20 @sofiadide20, Sep 12 5:03pm

Like I mentioned before I’m trying to help my dad. Any tips on how to fell better after the procedure. He is really weak and losing weight. Is his first month, when will he feel better? Thank you

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@sofiadide20, recovery takes time. There are several related discussions that I think might offer some tips and help for your dad. See these to get started:

– Whipple procedure: What is the recovery like? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/pancreatic-cancer-whipple-procedure/
– What are other survivors doing about pancreatic enzymes replacement? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/pancreatic-enzyme-replacement/
– Post Whipple: how long before your stomach "woke up"? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/post-whipple-how-long-before-your-stomach-woke-up/
– Weight Loss after Whipple: What strategies helped you? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/weight-loss-after-whipple-performed-on-2242022/

I'd also like to bring in fellow members like @chess17109 @dianamiracle @beachdog @caryns @bb21 @artgirl2 @mydadhadnetpancreatictumorandwhipple who can share their experiences as Whipple patients or caregivers.

Sofia, while we wait for others to chime in, can you tell us a bit more about how your dad is doing? What does he like to eat? Does he take pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy? What is his activity level like?

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@colleenyoung

@sofiadide20, recovery takes time. There are several related discussions that I think might offer some tips and help for your dad. See these to get started:

– Whipple procedure: What is the recovery like? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/pancreatic-cancer-whipple-procedure/
– What are other survivors doing about pancreatic enzymes replacement? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/pancreatic-enzyme-replacement/
– Post Whipple: how long before your stomach "woke up"? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/post-whipple-how-long-before-your-stomach-woke-up/
– Weight Loss after Whipple: What strategies helped you? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/weight-loss-after-whipple-performed-on-2242022/

I'd also like to bring in fellow members like @chess17109 @dianamiracle @beachdog @caryns @bb21 @artgirl2 @mydadhadnetpancreatictumorandwhipple who can share their experiences as Whipple patients or caregivers.

Sofia, while we wait for others to chime in, can you tell us a bit more about how your dad is doing? What does he like to eat? Does he take pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy? What is his activity level like?

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Thank you so much for replying and for all the helpful links! I been reading everyone’s discussions and I been leaning so much. My dad activity level is really low, he feels extremely tired, he had his procedure done august 15 so almost a month ago. He been home for like 10 days now, still has a drain that is still draining liquid. He started with enzymes a few days ago and they seems to be helping. He is eating really small portions and he is going to the bathroom a lot. He walk and he has no pain, but he feels weak.

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@sofiadide20

Thank you so much for replying and for all the helpful links! I been reading everyone’s discussions and I been leaning so much. My dad activity level is really low, he feels extremely tired, he had his procedure done august 15 so almost a month ago. He been home for like 10 days now, still has a drain that is still draining liquid. He started with enzymes a few days ago and they seems to be helping. He is eating really small portions and he is going to the bathroom a lot. He walk and he has no pain, but he feels weak.

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Hello:
This sounds very familiar to me. It will be 18 years this coming January that I had the same procedure. It took me a very long time to heal. I won't go into the details, but as I recall, it is very similar to what I experienced with my own healing.
Here are some of my thoughts.
1. Appetite and weight loss is normal. Dr. Chari (no longer at Mayo, but was my wonderful pancreatic specialist) suggested that I consume simple carbohydrates, as they were easier to digest. I took Creon with every time I ate except when I had candy. (I'm a Dietitian, so I had to toss the "eat well" guidelines out the window during this time.) I lost a lot of weight, too, but it came back over time.
2. There are a lot of supplements he can take (liquid type calories) in the form of any product that tastes good to him. (I do not work for any company and do not promote their specific products) but you can try Ensure Clear (juice based) or Sustacal (many like this one), etc. Check at your local pharmacy. Then, you can always order it on-line.
3. Yes, I went to the bathroom tons…….mannnnn…..
4. Check out a company called "UNJURY." You can find them on-line. (I do not work for them, etc. as above.) BUT, I like their protein powder (at this point years after my recovery) because of the taste (chocolate.) You have to mix it with a liquid. I use Lactaid milk (for dairy intolerance— use skim…fat in products will go right through him.) The protein bars have too much fiber for him at this point.
5. Yes, frequent small low fat meals are best. Later on, I can tell you more about some of the nutrients that his MD can look at. (Malabsorption of some exist—I've had deficiencies…) But there is time for that.
6. In the meantime, try not to pressure him to eat. It may be stressful for him, at least it was for me. Take flowers, some lovely, peaceful music (check out the Mayo Cancer Education Center….they have free CD's on meditation, I think.) He will need lots of rest. Sugared, low fat, tasty sweets (yes, brush after) – I ate a lot of these in the beginning.
7. Mayo MD's, nurses, support systems (cancer library), etc. are the best. Even the art I saw during that time helped me heal.
8. Take care of you…..breathe…if you have spiritual support, that may be helpful.
Gosh, hope that is is not too much…I could write a short book!
Best to you and your family.
Moderator- don't know if I can sign my name and professional credentials??

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sofiadide20 ………I hope your dad starts to feel better. I scheduled for the Whipple in early December so I'm very interested in how your dad does.

artgirl2……Wow……congratulations on the 18 year survival; I have never heard of anyone surviving post Whipple this long!! You are truly ONE OF A KIND!!!
BTW…..thank you for posting the 8 suggestions to sofiadide20 for her dad. These are wonderful tips and I will certainly be using them come my Whipple in December.
Last week I finished 6 months of chemo; today I travel to Milwaukee, WI to see my surgical oncologist and radiologist. We'll be discussing my Lab work and CT scan from yesterday. If all goes well today, I'll start radiation next week for ~ 6 weeks, then a 4 week hiatus, then The Whipple in December. If all goes well, I should be home in time for Christmas!
My prayers and best wishes to all who are struggling with this nasty disease……hand tight and stay tough……you can beat it!!!

REPLY
@artgirl2

Hello:
This sounds very familiar to me. It will be 18 years this coming January that I had the same procedure. It took me a very long time to heal. I won't go into the details, but as I recall, it is very similar to what I experienced with my own healing.
Here are some of my thoughts.
1. Appetite and weight loss is normal. Dr. Chari (no longer at Mayo, but was my wonderful pancreatic specialist) suggested that I consume simple carbohydrates, as they were easier to digest. I took Creon with every time I ate except when I had candy. (I'm a Dietitian, so I had to toss the "eat well" guidelines out the window during this time.) I lost a lot of weight, too, but it came back over time.
2. There are a lot of supplements he can take (liquid type calories) in the form of any product that tastes good to him. (I do not work for any company and do not promote their specific products) but you can try Ensure Clear (juice based) or Sustacal (many like this one), etc. Check at your local pharmacy. Then, you can always order it on-line.
3. Yes, I went to the bathroom tons…….mannnnn…..
4. Check out a company called "UNJURY." You can find them on-line. (I do not work for them, etc. as above.) BUT, I like their protein powder (at this point years after my recovery) because of the taste (chocolate.) You have to mix it with a liquid. I use Lactaid milk (for dairy intolerance— use skim…fat in products will go right through him.) The protein bars have too much fiber for him at this point.
5. Yes, frequent small low fat meals are best. Later on, I can tell you more about some of the nutrients that his MD can look at. (Malabsorption of some exist—I've had deficiencies…) But there is time for that.
6. In the meantime, try not to pressure him to eat. It may be stressful for him, at least it was for me. Take flowers, some lovely, peaceful music (check out the Mayo Cancer Education Center….they have free CD's on meditation, I think.) He will need lots of rest. Sugared, low fat, tasty sweets (yes, brush after) – I ate a lot of these in the beginning.
7. Mayo MD's, nurses, support systems (cancer library), etc. are the best. Even the art I saw during that time helped me heal.
8. Take care of you…..breathe…if you have spiritual support, that may be helpful.
Gosh, hope that is is not too much…I could write a short book!
Best to you and your family.
Moderator- don't know if I can sign my name and professional credentials??

Jump to this post

Omg thank you so so much for taking your time and giving me all this info! Let me ask you, should we be concern about sugar intake ? He wants sweets and we are trying not to give him so much sugar. Yesterday was a good day for him we finally saw him eating more and the enzymes seem to be helping since he is not going to the bathroom as much as he was. The only problem is that he is still draining a lot and it’s been a month from his surgery. I really appreciate all the info! Thank you

REPLY
@tpl

sofiadide20 ………I hope your dad starts to feel better. I scheduled for the Whipple in early December so I'm very interested in how your dad does.

artgirl2……Wow……congratulations on the 18 year survival; I have never heard of anyone surviving post Whipple this long!! You are truly ONE OF A KIND!!!
BTW…..thank you for posting the 8 suggestions to sofiadide20 for her dad. These are wonderful tips and I will certainly be using them come my Whipple in December.
Last week I finished 6 months of chemo; today I travel to Milwaukee, WI to see my surgical oncologist and radiologist. We'll be discussing my Lab work and CT scan from yesterday. If all goes well today, I'll start radiation next week for ~ 6 weeks, then a 4 week hiatus, then The Whipple in December. If all goes well, I should be home in time for Christmas!
My prayers and best wishes to all who are struggling with this nasty disease……hand tight and stay tough……you can beat it!!!

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I wish you the best and I will keep you posted! And like you said we all gonna beat it! One day at the time 💕

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@sofiadide20

Omg thank you so so much for taking your time and giving me all this info! Let me ask you, should we be concern about sugar intake ? He wants sweets and we are trying not to give him so much sugar. Yesterday was a good day for him we finally saw him eating more and the enzymes seem to be helping since he is not going to the bathroom as much as he was. The only problem is that he is still draining a lot and it’s been a month from his surgery. I really appreciate all the info! Thank you

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You are welcome. 🙂

Well, as I may have said, I ate a lot of sweets because that is mostly what I could digest. I think it helped prevent me from losing even more weight than I did. I have the lower half of my pancreas, though, which continued/continues to make insulin. Something to consider would be to ask the MD what part, if any, of the pancreas he has left. If he does not have any part of his pancreas and has to be concerned about blood glucose levels, the MD is the one to go to for advice. Having gone through what I went through, I would eat only what I wanted to eat. Sometimes the body speaks to us in ways that may not make sense, at least that is certainly one thing I learned during that time. At some point for me, having others tell me what to eat, etc., etc. added a lot of stress to my life. So, I just listened to myself and that seemed to work for me. Bless you for loving and caring for him.

REPLY
@sofiadide20

Omg thank you so so much for taking your time and giving me all this info! Let me ask you, should we be concern about sugar intake ? He wants sweets and we are trying not to give him so much sugar. Yesterday was a good day for him we finally saw him eating more and the enzymes seem to be helping since he is not going to the bathroom as much as he was. The only problem is that he is still draining a lot and it’s been a month from his surgery. I really appreciate all the info! Thank you

Jump to this post

One more thing, yes the good days and bad days, if one can name them as such existed for me. Over time, more good days than bad arrived. I also realized that I felt better during certain times of the day than others and rested when I needed to. Both of my daughters were young – 7 and 10. Years after that first cancer (I have had two others). my oldest said to me, "That's when we bonded with the TV, Momma." So, the point is, rest when he needs to. Eat what you like. Stay hydrated. Look at beautiful parts of nature and listen to wonderful music. It all helps.

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