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Mon, Aug 17 9:47pm · What is it like after Whipple surgery plus 1 1/2 years? in Cancer

Well, I will try this again, I had written a reply, but seemed to have lost it somewhere along the lines.
How I received my diagnosis, the long version. In early Oct of '18, I was having a lot of stomach pain at night. It would start low in my abdomen, and slowly move upward. The only way I could get rid of it was to get up, walk a bit, and then be able to belch (loud and a lot). Things kept getting worse, and I called to set up an appointment with a gastroenterologist, but could not get in to see one till Feb of '19. December was hell, with lots of pain. Then one gastro Dr. said he could endoscope me 1/3/19. He could not get the scope past my stomach, and when he removed it, I projectile vomited what he thought was two weeks worth of food. I woke up in the ICU, and ended up being in the hospital for 2 weeks. Testing was inconclusive, but a Whipple was what they recommended. Had a drain tube and a feeding tube put in (ended up with the feeding tube having to be put back in 3 times when it kept slipping out. During this time I got some what fed up and made an appt. at Mayo. They got a scope tube past my stomach, but could see no sign of cancer, although they felt it had to be the problem. My wife and I sat down and had a talk with Dr. Truty, and he said I needed the Whipple, and soon, as I was going down hill rather quickly. Dr. Nagorney did the surgery and was surprised with what he found The cancerous tumor was was attached to the outside of the pancreas, and had wrapped it self around my duodenum, having it almost squeezed shut. They removed a part of my stomach, 40% of my pancreas, all the gall bladder and all the duodenum. They also took a 12" section of my transverse colon out that had cancer cells growing on the surface.

Due to all this, I was worried about my children and the possibility of cancer. I had surgery in "04 for prostate cancer, and now with the pancreatic cancer, my one son was pretty shook up. I was able to do some testing where a blood sample was taken, and I had to answer a bunch of questions regarding my health history and that of my ancestors. When this was all computed, there was no known marker to indicate that my children would be at any great risk for pancreatic cancer, but get this, Beside the prostate cancer and pancreatic cancer I had already been blessed with, I was also at risk for breast cancer! Noting like hogging a bunch of cancers.

I do not worry, or look over my shoulder regarding any of my cancers, It is what it is what it is. For me, I think the diagnosis of cancer was harder on my wife and family that it was on me. Getting to the diagnosis was far more frustrating and aggravating than the diagnosis.

Gods blessings Best to you and your loved ones. If you ever want to talk about it, let me know and I will get you my phone number.

Sun, Aug 16 9:38pm · What is it like after Whipple surgery plus 1 1/2 years? in Cancer

Hello to everyone! I have not posted on this site for some time, but realize there are continually those folks who are facing pancreatic cancer, and wonder what post Whipple surgery is like. I know each of us gets over it in a different way, but will run what my last 1 1/2 years have been. I had surgery at Mayo in Rochester on 2/8/19. Made the mistake of eating too much when I went back on solid food ( I had not had any food by mouth since 1/3/19). Big mistake, but I survived. I started chemo about 9 weeks afterward (Folfirinox). After I got to the sixth treatment I was ready to quit, but my wife (God bless her) talked me into sticking it out. It was not fun.It beat the snot out of me physically, emotionally and mentally , but I finished the 12 sessions. It took me about 6 -7 weeks to get over the effects. I was told that this recover times varies greatly among people in treatment. Went to Vegas in December for the NFR and some concerts and felt great.
The main downside of the Whipple was, and still is in my bowel habits. Sometimes things go well, other times I only get ab out a 5 -10 second warning after the first urge until the movement. There have been some messy pants, and some tears were shed the first few times it happened, but with time, things have gotten better. I have started taking Gas-Ex, and it seems to be making a big difference for me. I also take Creon with my meals. No foods seem to upset me, and I eat like a horse. I had lost around 50 pounds during the illness and post surgery, but have been able to gain about 22 pounds back. Still working on another 10 pounds. I am semi-retired, working 3 days a week, and on my off days, keep as active as I ever did with the homeowner activities of owning an acreage and a number of horses. Only changes are I am not as strong as I was before cancer, and I have been know to take a nap now and then.
What I would like to say to people facing pancreatic cancer is that it will not be easy. I was so sick for the month before surgery that mentally I was a wimp. If I had to go thru it again, I would be in a more ready and positive state of mind. As far as the chemo, if I have to do that again, I will, only this time in a better mindset, and realizing it would knock me on my ass for a while.
When people ask me how I feel, I tell them that I feel really, really good, which is the truth. I have been one of the lucky ones when it comes to pancreatic cancer. 2019 was not the best year I have ever had, but I truly feel it was a blessing. For those facing pancreatic I can only say be as positive as possible. I know this easy to say and hard to do, Readily accept the prayers for you, and also to accept help when offered. It will be a rough road, but stay positive. Like my Doctor at Mayo told me “I was one of the lucky 20%”. I thought lucky hell! Then he added that I was one of the lucky ones who could have surgery. It sure changed my mind in a hurry.
Best to all who read this, and prayers to all.

Sep 24, 2019 · Pancreatic cancer—Whipple procedure in Pancreatic Cancer

I had my Whipple in early February of 2018. Goofed up by trying to eat too much too soon, and it set me back big time. By week 8, I could eat well, exercise ( 2 mile walks, cutting down tress, feeding our horses, and could drive with no problems. At week 10, I started Folfirinox chemo, twice a week for 6 months. I was good for about 5 -6 sessions, but by session 8 I really wanted to quit, but did not. This week I am in my last chemo session, can still eat like a horse, but am very weak and wobbly most of the time. I find I spend a lot of time in the recliner, or laying down. Thru Whipple, recovery and chemo, I have lost up to 54 lbs. I have gained 13 of it back. I take Creon with my meals. Bowels are inconsistent. Some time I only ave a five second warning, and that leads to messes in pants, which made me cry at first, but I have overcome the feelings. It has gotten bed with perscription drugs, but I do not go out without a change of clothes. If I had not had chemo, I think I would have been sailing along at week ten. MY Mayo Drs. said it was best to do the chemo, and I figured they know a lot better than me. I will say I will ever do chemo again. I went thru 6 months of feeling pretty crappy, and am told it may take up to a year to get back to a my new normal. Well. I am pretty hard headed and strong in my faith. I will reach my new normal in 3 – 4 months. Best to all in the battle. We all recover differently, but we recover. Never give up.

Apr 30, 2019 · Whipple procedure and follow up chemo in Pancreatic Cancer

Hello Colleen. Yes, 1st chemo was 4/22, Folfirinox. Was vomiting by 6 that evening, and into next day. Got couple of bags of saline, some Zofran and Atavin on the 23rd. It helped a bunch. Got pump unhooked the 24th, and got 2 bags saline, Zofrna and Atavin, along with iron thru port that day also. I imagine they will play with dosage, nauseau meds with next chemo on 4/6. The iron really makes a quick difference in fatigue and energy level. Little tired the last couple of days, but I tend to push myself pretty hard. Best thing is I can eat like a horse on most days. I am very positive about chemo. There will be bad days, but there were eight weeks of bad days after the Whipple. Love this site. Thank you. Bill Kennedy

Apr 11, 2019 · Whipple procedure and follow up chemo in Pancreatic Cancer

No problem, as I knew what you meant. Yes, it is a tough lonely road. Number of people affected is rather small compared to other cancers, but it is one of the top three killers. Sorry to hear your have breast cancer. I am hogging the cancer in our family. Prostate cancer with prostate removed in 2004, not it is back again. Will take care of the pancreas first. and worry about the other afterward. Stay positive and stay strong! .

Apr 11, 2019 · Whipple procedure and follow up chemo in Pancreatic Cancer

I had the Whipple on 2/8/19. I can eat, even much more than I should considering the "small potions" instructions I received after surgery. I got into trouble after I got hoe as I was on a high protein diet, and my stomach could not yet handle it. I ended up back in the local hospital for a week. I am not taking any enzymes, as I had a follow up check up at Mayo Rochester on 4/1, and the experts said I was doing well, and did not need the at that point. I lost of 40 pounds before and after surgery. I have gained back 4+ lbs. I do not know if I will ever get back to 204, but will settle for 185. Went down 4 inches on waist size, so had no jeans to wear. Most of my shirts are XL, but luckily, some are larges.
Now and then I may have some pain after eating, especially if I east too much. Had a small problem with diarrhea, earlier this week, but took some Kaopectate, and it took care of the problem. I start Fiofirinox chemo on 4/22, so I am pretty sure diarrhea and I will be meeting again for 6 months. Oncologist says she can help with it. Best to you and your husband. It is a difficult journey that we are on, but one must stay positive, which is not an easy thing to do.

Apr 6, 2019 · Whipple procedure and follow up chemo in Pancreatic Cancer

Thank you for the info. I just need to detune and make myself wait for the good to come. This week is the first week I have really been able to notice improvement in feeling better physically and mentally.

Apr 6, 2019 · Whipple procedure and follow up chemo in Pancreatic Cancer

I started with small portions about 5 times a day. Now, 2 months after surgery, I have 3 meals, and some sort of small snack between them, and in the evening. It may be some apple slice, cookies, ice cream, popcorn, or a sandwich. I know that is not the best diet, I try to limit my portions, but find I can put down a pretty good amount with out discomfort most of the time. It is not the amount I used to eat. I lost of 40# (204# down to 160#) and hate to look at myself in the mirror. I would like to get back up to 185, and could live with that. I am getting out to walk the dogs a mile or or more at a time, and have been doing some light outside chores. Was at a follow up at Mayo on 4/1, and they thought I was doing well, even though I think I should be farther along on getting back to my new normal. Other Whipple survivors I have visited with say I am doing well, so I need to ramp up my patience factor. Am curious about your Whipple experience, and if you had follow up chemo. A sincere "Thank you" for you reply.