February 18, 2011 at 12:39 am #48141lainyParticipant
Hi Rudy do you have a surgery date? Teddy didn’t loose that much weight during surgery it was after, when like you say nothing tasted good to him. The strangest one was chocolate. He was a chocoholic and after surgery didn’t want anything sweet at all for months. We think it was because the head of the Pancreas was removed and the Pancreas is what makes the insulin in your body. Actaully I just remembered they did give him insulin shots daily until his sugar level stabilized. But everything will return to normal in due time. Just have lots of patience and lots of good attitude. P.S. He did a lot of pasta and soups after as it was a little tough to digest meats. You are going to be just fine.February 18, 2011 at 12:24 am #48140rudybMember
Thank you everyone for your support and encouragement. I feel very fortunate that the tumor can be surgically removed. I am told that the exact staging will become known during surgery. We stay in the Midwest and have selected Memorial Sloan Kettering for surgery after researching hospitals and surgeons with good experience in Whipple. We had a good visit with my surgeon on 2/8. He prescribed antibiotics (ciprofloxacin) to prevent infection around the plastic stent. I am trying to gain a few pounds these days pre-surgery. I was told everything will taste like cardboard for several days after surgery and the loss in appetite will lead to a loss (10 to 20 lbs) in body weight.
Best to you all!
RudyFebruary 17, 2011 at 10:59 pm #4813932coupeParticipant
I want to welcome you to the CC ‘family forum’ also. If you do much reading, you will quickly realize that you are indeed one of the fortunate ones in that your tumor was operable. That is a significant factor in surviving CC. The day you recover from the surgery, you’ll think you were run over by a large truck but progress comes quickly.
As far as life after the diagnosis, I chose to live my life a day at a time with a mindset that “This is the day that the Lord has made – I will rejoice and be glad in it”. I had an agreement with my Onc that he could do the worrying while I lived my life. It has served me well…
Grace and Peace to you,
bobFebruary 17, 2011 at 8:43 pm #48138hollandgMember
I had a whipples last May also, following same diagnosis as you. I spent 3 weeks in hospital recovering and about 3 months at home before returning to work. I’m cancer-free and feel great. It is a big operation but you have caught this disease early and you have youth on your side (I’m 50).
Good luck and come back and tell us how your getting on.
GerryFebruary 17, 2011 at 8:09 pm #48137a-friendParticipant
My friend had the same symptoms you have described. she had a whipple last May, was in the hospital for 10 days and then rested at home for about three weeks. This has been followed by chemo and radiation. she has now been declared cancer free. as a matter of fact she ran a half marathon two weeks ago. The only side effect that seems to stay with her is stomach upset after eating- she has lost a great deal of weight. Two items to leave you with – age – she is 54, so age is on her side and she was chosen for a clinical trial which helped financially. Good luck and from what I know, the fact that you will have whipple is a very good sign.February 17, 2011 at 7:12 pm #48136gavinModerator
Welcome to the site. Sorry that you had to find us all but I’m glad that you have joined us as you will get a load of support and help from us all. THat is great to hear that your GI doc was on the ball here and was able to do the ERCP and get the stent in the same day. My dad had a metal stent inserted and the relief that gave for him with his itching was immense.
That is good to hear that the docs are able to do the whipples op and I hope that this goes well and that you have a speedy recovery. Please let us know how it goes. And feel free to come here as much as you want and ask a ton of questions and we will all do what we can to help. Looking forward to reading more of your posts.
GavinFebruary 17, 2011 at 2:52 pm #48135jathy1125Participant
Rudy, like everyone else soo sorry you had to find this site. I am a cc survior. I was also diagnosed by an ERCP and a doctor who knew what he was looking at, as you read this site you will realize how rare and how lucky you were. Also like you my only sympton was itchy and told to take aveeno bath and benadryl by GP!! I am cancer free because of chemo, radiation and a liver transplant (really ended up having 2).
There is so much expierence and information on this site, keep posting and reading.
If you would like more about my story, feel free to email me, email@example.com
Lots of prayers-CathyFebruary 17, 2011 at 1:55 pm #48134rayloguMember
You will find the whipple to be the most difficult surgery of all, although it is a difficult recovery, since appears you caught this early and I hope and pray you will be a success story. See my post on cancercompass.com named as Raylogu.
I had the whipple 5/10, am 9 months post op and doing great. I was 77 when I had surgery, and find encouragement every day from survivor stories. I keep in touch with a lady that had whipple in NH and she went to a whipple support group recently where they have 5 and 10 yrs plus survivors. Also if you google 100 yr old whipple survivor, you will find a lady that had this procedure in late 80’s and she was doing great last I read.
Any questions you may have, please feel free to contact me directly at my
regards, Ray Lagueux, NCFebruary 17, 2011 at 1:22 pm #48133ronidinkesMember
my mother presented the same way with horrible itching. she had her whipple at johns hopkins within 2 weeks of the ercp. timing is the key with any disease especially CC. keep me posted on how you are feeling and if you need any help at hopkins please contact me @ firstname.lastname@example.org, on facebook or at work.
sending many hugs your way.
-rFebruary 17, 2011 at 7:31 am #48132slittle1127Member
Hello Rudy – What a blessing that your doctors were on their game and diagnosed you while there are still procedures that can be done. Please visit here often. You will learn so much and have tremendous support on this site. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Blessings, SusanFebruary 17, 2011 at 5:09 am #48131marionsModerator
Hello Rudy and a warm welcome to our site. In addition to everything Lainy has mentioned you have to remember that you are still rather young and the likelihood for you to recovery from a major surgery looks really good. This site will provide you with much information and the knowledge gained will empower you to make informed decisions.
I am sending all my best wishes your way,
MarionFebruary 17, 2011 at 3:14 am #48130lainyParticipant
Hello Rudy and welcome to our wonderful family but so sorry you had to join us.
My husband Teddy had a Whipple 5 1/2 years ago. It is a big surgery, not life threatening but big to the body. The surgery lasts about 6 – 8 hours depending on what the Surgeon sees when he goes in. When you wake up you will most likely be on a Morphine drip. Here is a hint I learned myself a year ago. Ask for a spinal (does not hurt) and your mid section will be numb for a good 24 hours.
You could be in the hospital anywhere from 1 week to 10 days or 2 weeks all depends on how fast you bounce back. You certainly have age on your side. Teddy was 73. How you proceed with treatment after you go home depends on clear margins or not. Even with clear margins some Oncologists proceed with Chemo. Teddy did not have chemo or radiation, he had clear margins. By the way his tumor was in the bile duct valve. With a Whipple they remove the gall bladder, duodenum, and sometimes the head of the Pancreas. In about 6 months Teddy was back at work and golfing. Golfing being more important than work.
Whether or not you have chemo the usual regime after surgery is to see the ONC every 3 months with LABs taken each time. Teddy also had a PET Scan or MRI every 6 months.
I would suggest you read up on past posts here. Go to the Search button at the top of the page and type in Whipple and a whole list of posts will come up. Also Google Whipple and you will get a lot of information. You will want to read up as much as you can.
Yes, there is life after a Whipple and a lot of that life stems from ATTITUDE!
I am so glad you found us and feel free to come here to ask, vent or advise. You are not alone there are hundreds of new family here ready to help. May I just ask where you are being treated?February 17, 2011 at 12:57 am #4790rudybMember
I am glad to come across this great resource and support network. I am 42/male and was diagnosed of CC Jan 29, 2011. I had been on international travel in early Jan when one day my whole body started feeling itchy. My first thought was that it was an allergic reaction. A local dermatologist prescribed Prednosone and antihistamines. These did not provide any relief. Upon returning to the U.S., I stopped taking my regular vitamins and noted a yellow coloration of urine even when I wasn’t taking B-complex. My wife searched the internet and discovered that the itching and discoloration of urine could be due to jaundice/hepatitis. A visit to my PCP and blood tests revealed high liver enzymes and bilurubin levels but tests were negative for the hepatitis panel. My PCP recommended a CT scan which showed blockage of the bile duct. My GI doctor was able to perform an ERCP on the same day, and installed a plastic stent and withdrew brushings for a biopsy. The stent provided immediate relief to the itching and the urine color became clear over the next day. The biopsy revealed atypical (malignant) cells. The CT and ERCP x-rays showed a tumor in the distal bile duct. So far I do not have other symptoms such as pain, fever, loss of appetite or loss in weight. I am scheduled for surgery (Whipple procedure) late next week. The doctor specializes in surgery related to cholangiopancreatic cancers. I would appreciate any information about what to expect and how to prepare for life beyond a CC diagnosis!
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