April 9, 2013 at 9:54 pm #70646lainySpectator
Dear Christine, welcome to our remarkable family, you have come to the best place to be. My husband, Teddy, had the Whipple in August of 2005. While the Whipple is a big surgery it is NOT life threatening like heart surgery. Teddy’s surgery lasted 8 hours and the next morning he was sitting in a chair when I got to the hospital. Recovery takes time and one must be very patient. Like Randi said, you are among the blessed that Dad can even do this. Teddy was 73 at the time of his Whipple and 7 years ago they gave ‘Whipplers a year’ but we got another 5 1/2. Things have even improved since then, who knows what is round the corner. You all need to be tough and present Dad with a united front. I gave all notice that they must not be upset in front of Teddy. Teddy had told me that he was steeling his mind for had to be and my job was to tell others that crying or being upset was forbidden in front of him and that helped make him stronger. One suggestion I have, having had my own stomach surgery 3 years ago, I suggest asking for an epideral. I was already on the surgery table when I thought of it. Sure helped for the next 2 days as I was pretty numb. No one wants surgery but on this Board we celebrate the word. May I ask where the surgery is being done? Feel free to ask me any questions by email, we are all here for you. I pray for God to come through the surgeons hands and please keep us updated on Dad’s progress.April 9, 2013 at 9:43 pm #70645alancSpectator
Ok I’m Chris’s dad and I posted earlier but not on the introduction board.
I don’t think I am freaking out but I will admit I have lots going on in my mind especially since I still don’t know anything for sure. Anyway, here is the original post I made and thanks in advance for any responses I receive.
Hi all. New member here who is scheduled for a whipple 4/13 @ Brigham and Womens. I am a 69 year young male who has been blessed to be married to my best friend Betty for 48 years. We raised 6 great children and now are blessed with 16 grandchidren.
I was on vacation in St Martin, my favorite island, and was fine at 8:30 am and felt lousy at 9 am. Returned home on 3/2 and called my GI Doctor who got me in very quickly. After hearing my symptoms he was convinced I had experienced a gallstone attack. Ultra sound, cat scan, endoscopy and ERCP results prompted him to refer me to Brigham and Womens for 2nd opinion.
Scrapings from ERCP were suspicious but not definitive. Other than having a pacemaker installed because of an electrical problem my health has been excellent.
Not sure what to expect will be found nor what the future holds at this point so I am somewhat of an emotional basket case at this time. My intent is to put up the best fight I am able to but by the same token do not want any extra ordinary efforts made and do have a living will. Hopefully I will be able to contribute to this forum in the future and provide insight and support to others.
AlanCApril 9, 2013 at 9:28 pm #70644RandiSpectator
I had whipple surgery 12/2009 and while the recovery was not a picnic, it was not anywhere near horrible. Everyone is different, so I cannot predict how your father will recover. My surgery was 6.5 hours long but I was only in the hospital for 6 days which is a record for my surgeon. The hospital stay varies for everyone and in my humble opinion is dependent on the physical health of the person before surgery. I was just shy of my 54th birthday and in pretty good physical health (no heart disease, no diabetes, average weight, exercised regularly).
Before my surgery I was concerned that I would never be the same person. I can tell you that while I have some issues my stomach occasionally, I am very much the same person and do the same things. I still run and exercise, eat right, I went back to work 6 weeks after my surgery to my (admittedly sedentary) desk job.
Tell your dad that mostly only people with horror stories post on websites about their experiences, so to take of it with a grain of salt.
I will not minimize the seriousness of this surgery, but it’s the only potential cure for this cancer, I fell blessed to have been able to have it, and I would do it again in a second.
Please feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like any specific information about the whipple.
-Randi-April 9, 2013 at 9:03 pm #70643willowSpectator
I meant to say Laineys husband had the surgery and it bought him 5 more years. lots have had the Whipple surgery too and many are back to normal life.April 9, 2013 at 9:01 pm #70642willowSpectator
Lainey and others will probably get to you soon. Lots of others have had it as well and here on this board we consider your Dad even “lucky” that its an option. I’m sure your Dad doesn’t feel very lucky though and its understandable that he is having anxiety right now. This gets better as you gain confidence in the plan and meanwhile the Dr may prescribe an anti anxiety med like Ativan.
Hang in there!
WillowApril 9, 2013 at 8:40 pm #8212christinepalmSpectator
My dad is 69, and has been having some health issues, after about a month of tests. They found a 2 mm stricture on the distal end of his common bile duct. The biopsy came back inconclusive, and they are recommending the Whipple surgery, which is scheduled for this Saturday. My dad is freaking out and now is questioning the surgery, more scared of the surgery and recovery from it than the cancer itself. We are all scared!
Could you offer any advice or support for us? We want him to be hopeful and fight.
He said he has been doing research and doesn’t find many positive outcomes…. Any would be appreciated. Thanks so much!! Chris
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