May 6, 2013 at 5:06 pm #67934
I wanted to give a little update on my dad’s progress. We finally travelled back to Boston from NYC on 4/19. We met with Dr. Kato that day to go over all of his biopsy results…Dr. Kato informed us that exceptionally clean margins were obtained with NO lymph node involvement (after removing 19 all together)! Dr. Kato said that for my dad’s stage, he couldn’t have asked for better results. He was thrilled as were we! My dad is still recovering at home. His biggest challege remains the enormous incision. Unfortunately, the incision got infected a few days after surgery, so they had to remove the staples which left a huge open wound. He is starting to eat a little bit more too which is also a major challege after a Whipple. We will be going to a follow up appointment at Dana Farber to discuss follow up chemo on 5/14. We are so thankful for each and every day and want to remind everyone that there is hope and never to take no for an answer!
NikkiApril 9, 2013 at 7:36 pm #67933
Thanks for the latest update on your dad Nikki. Hoping that this infection will clear up very soon so that your dad can get home, and I know how much he will be looking forward to that! I know that it might seem slow to you and him, but it sounds to me like your dad is making great progress here!
My fingers will be crossed for a Friday flight home for him!!
Best wishes to you and your dad,
GavinApril 9, 2013 at 2:18 pm #67932
Dear Nikki, thanks so much for the good update on your Dad. The infections seem to take forever to heal, I think partly because the worst is over and after surgery people are anxious to go home and up pops an infection. Teddy had 2 of them and if I am correct his were called fistulas. The big word in healing from CC Surgery is PATIENCE. I sure wish for Dad to go home Friday as there is no place like home!April 9, 2013 at 1:34 pm #67931
Thank you ALL so so much for all of your responses! I love posting to this board because of the support and great feedback I receive from all of you! It has officially been 2 weeks since the day of his surgery. He would have been discharged, however, his incision is still infected (which is common). Today he has to walk A LOT – Dr.’s orders. His pancreas is still leaking so he cannot eat solids until that is cleared up. My aunt is with him now. Hoping and praying that he can come home Friday as we have a pilot lined up from Angel Flights!
Laura – thanks for giving me an update about your mom…obviously hearing from someone that has also had surgery with Dr. Kato is invaluable. They watch over him at the NY Pres like a hawk. It’s a great hospital. I’m happy to hear your mom is progressing well…that is great news!
Lainy – I took your advice and told him how large this surgery is and that he has to give himself some credit!
Taking one day at a time…focusing on the positive – that he was lucky enough to be a candidate for surgery and that we found Dr. Kato through this amazing web-site. I don’t believe anyone else could have accomplished what Dr. Kato and his team did for my dad. He is truly gifted from God and the most humble man I have ever met.April 7, 2013 at 11:26 am #67930laurkcpParticipant
Great news about your dad. Dr. Kato is a saint. My mom was resected on march 5 and stayed in the hospital about 12 days post op. it is a slow recovery but she is progressing. It has now been 4 1/2 weeks. She went to the mall with me today for the first time. She was exhausted when we returned. These are huge surgeries and it takes time to heal. The staff was amazing at cumc. Best of luck with dad. He is lucky to have you!April 6, 2013 at 12:15 am #67929marionsModerator
Nikki… in order to “ramp” up the digestive track, clear liquids will be followed by light and easy to digest food. The nurses will listen for gurgling sounds (gas) in your Dad’s abdomen. In fact, flatulence will continue to be a focus for a long time to come. In fact, we have numerous (at times hilarious to read) threads on the subject, but it is an important issue for this type of surgery. Each day your Dad will accomplish a bit more and before you know it, he will be sitting in his chair. At present he is in the perfect place for recuperation, as the nurses watch closely over him and are ready to address anything that may come up.
As the others have mentioned, the recuperation time varies for each individual; just know that each day is a step toward complete recuperation.
Tons of good wishes are heading your way,
MarionApril 5, 2013 at 7:48 pm #67928
This is great news about your dad, superb news really and thanks for sharing it! I know that your dad has got so much to recover from with the surgery but it is great that he had this and that it went so well. Majorly chuffed for you both!
I know that it must be so hard for you having to leave your dad at the hospital and for you not being there with him, but he is in great hands and i know they’ll take excellent care of your dad too. Stay strong and try and focus on the positives if you can. Fingers are crossed for your dads recovery to go well.
GavinApril 4, 2013 at 8:27 pm #67927
Dear Nikki, first I have to give a rousing YIPPEE for your Dad. I had tears of joy as I read your post. Tell him that my husband had a regular Whipple and that it is the largest surgery to the human body, not life threatening like heart surgery but the largest and then to add all the extras Dad had, OMG. The only thing I can add is do not rush the back to normal things, to take his time. Take the pain Meds as long as you need to otherwise you are using the energy up that you need to heal. I will keep my prayers going for a smooth recovery! I need to give him one more YIPPEE!
I wonder if wonderful Dr. Kato is still sleeping…..April 4, 2013 at 8:14 pm #67926
Hello! My dad’s surgery was on 3/26. We arrived at the NY Presbyterian Hospital at 5:30 AM. Surgery began at 7:30, right on time. Dr. Kato estimated it to be about 8 hours. I made my way to the waiting room and was a nervous wreck until about 11 when I knew that they must have gone through with the surgery since 2 1/2 hours had passed. Around 3:30 PM, Sarah (Dr. Kato’s assistant), came out of the OR and my heart was pounding. She told me that they were not finished resecting the liver and that surgery was going to be about another 4 hours because they were going to go ahead with a Whipple. The tumor, to everyone’s surprise, was wrapped around the duodenum and to get very clean margins, Dr. Kato decided this was the best route. At about 9:45 PM, Dr. Kato came out covered in sweat with bloodshot eyes and told me the tumor was out and they got clean margins! I didn’t even know what to say…I think I just babbled a bunch of words that I hoped were meaningful. Dr. Kato resected my dad’s right lobe of his liver (including the atery), the gallbladder, the duodenum, the bottom portion of his stomach and the head of his pancreas. He had to reconstruct his portal vein as well. He removed some tissue around a nerve near his pancreas which is being tested. He also removed a bunch of lymph nodes which are also being tested. Although I am worried about the results of the tissue surrounding a nerve, I am beyond thrilled the surgery was a success!
My dad spent two days in ICU. He would have went to step down on the 2nd day, but he has a bateria in his GI tract (that most of the general population has) so they want to keep him away from other patients for their protection. Once a single room was available, he went to the regular floor. He has been doing okay. He started eating clear liquids about 3 days ago. He is on a lot of morphine because of the pain. Today we found out that there is a leak from the pancreas that needs to be resolved (apparently this is common). He does not have to be asleep for the procedure. Besides that, he is making baby steps. I keep reminding him that this is one of the most difficult procedures to recover from and that he is doing great!
It is tough having him in NY when we are from MA. I just came home last night. Today was the first day he had to spend alone and although my heart is breaking, I know he is being taken care of. My family will be back with him starting Saturday. It looks like he will be there till at least 4/12. If anyone has ANY advice or information regarding recovery from a Whipple, please share!! Thank you so so much for all of your thought and prayers that have got us this far!March 20, 2013 at 9:06 pm #67925
What great news about your dad passing the cardiac test and also about the PET as well! Excellent stuff! Fingers crossed that his surgery goes well and I look forward to hearing about it. Loads of positive thoughts coming your way!
My best wishes to you and your dad,
GavinMarch 20, 2013 at 5:41 pm #67924wallsm1Participant
wow, great news. Lots of prayers for the upcoming surgery. I was not treated by Dr Kato, but from what I have read on this board, he sounds amazing!
Keep us posted!
SusieMarch 20, 2013 at 5:19 pm #67923
Okay…a pillow for coughing and an Epideral…got it! Thank you SO much for your kind words and advice. It’s nice to have people that know what you are going through support you! Every time I read a response from all of you, I tear up!
Pam – what a crazy coincidence! I will be praying for Lauren while I pray for my dad in the waiting room. I agree, just having the opportunity is a blessing. It’s such a mix of emotions, but I always remember to keep it positive. I truly believe that positive thinking brings positive outcomes!March 19, 2013 at 9:29 pm #67922pamelaParticipant
March 26th must be a great day!! My daughter, Lauren is having her surgery that day too at U of M. I know it is scary, but we are all so thrilled for the opportunity. God bless your Dad and I will be hoping and praying for a successful surgery and recovery!
Love and hugs,
-PamMarch 19, 2013 at 9:29 pm #67921
Nikki, I wish to add my excitement and good wishes to all the others. Dad might want to ask for an Epideral as it will numb the area for 24 – 28 hours. BTW I have yet to hear of the Easter Bunny skipping a hospital! I don’t think we have ever had such a busy time as we have coming up on the 25th and 26th. This is truly awesome!March 19, 2013 at 8:45 pm #67920marionsModerator
Nikki….your Dad passed with flying colors, fantastic news. I have learned that the nurses in these units are incredible people. They know exactly what to expect and what to look for. Know that each and every day is a step toward complete recovery and that virtually everything that may pop up, will be addressed immediately. Oh, the pillow. I am sure that others have tons of information for you, but I am still stuck on the pillow for coughing up phlegm. When pressed gently against the abdomen, it really helps reduce the pain.
Have a wonderful Easter – what greater gift is there than what you will be receiving?
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