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Thread: 2 weeks post-op Whipple - how did you or your loved feel?? Follow up with Surgeon -

  1. #1

    2 weeks post-op Whipple - how did you or your loved feel?? Follow up with Surgeon -

    Iím newer to these boards, and am helping a good friend navigate her diagnosis of PC(along with many others)

    She was just released from the hospital Monday, 1/28 after 12 days in. At first she seemed to do very well, but then continued to have pain issues. About 8 days in - some of the pain was attributed to severe constipation, which they fixed. She is still on a lot of drugs for pain, and just kind of Ďout of sortsí She is also weak and due to her low weight, frail.

    I know we are only 2 weeks out.. But I am wondering if this is normal? There probably is no normal! But I know there are a few others that have had recent whipples and just wondering how they were/are doing after 2 weeks.

    She was originally staged as T3 N1 MX from the endoscopic ultrasound. I donít have her records from the surgery, but it was confirmed stage 3, with 3 positive lymph nodes out of the 20 removed.

    Tomorrow I will take her for a follow up with the Surgeon. I have a list of questions,(dietary needs, treatment plan, etc) but if anyone who has been there has suggestions, please advise!
    researching on behalf of good friend - Female, 61, hon smoker, excellent health (prior)
    Oct 2012 - started seeing Dr's for Abdominal pain, had tests for female problems, colonoscopy.. etc
    1/7/13 CT abdomen and Endoscopic Ultrasound - 3.3 x 3.1 hypoechoic mass in head of pancreas Preliminary Path reveals adenocarcinoma
    1/10/13 met with surgeon - Whipple scheduled for 1/16/13
    1/11/13 prelim meeting with oncologist
    1/16/13 Successful Whipple - Stage 3, removed 20 lymph nodes, 3 positive
    3/4/2013 Started 28 sessions of Proton Beam Radiation Therapy and 5FU Chemo (pump)
    5/2/2013 Scheduled for first scan
    5/31/2013 Friend passed away - less than 5 months from diagnosis of pancreatic cancer

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Top User DebbieC's Avatar
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    You said it...there is no normal. The whipple is a brutal surgery to have. My dad's surgeon described it as one of the the biggest and most complicated surgeries a person can have. There is no "easy" recovery but if there was, I would say that my dad had one. And it wasn't easy.

    At 2 weeks, my dad was still experiencing some pain but nothing that was unbearable. He was along the path of eating somewhat normal but not there yet. He was improving every day but no where near recovered. At this point, I can remember him just looking at food and throwing up just by the sight and smell of it. And this was considered "good" for this surgery!

    The surgeon had been telling us about someone who went into surgery healthy as a horse, besides the cancer of course, and was in and out of the hospital 2 months later. And even THAT was considered par for the course.

    What is comforting is that she is going to the doctor tomorrow so if there are any abnormal problems, they can be addressed. But from what you are saying, this is all "normal". Tell her to hang in there. This pain that she is feeling is temporary and her body WILL heal from this in a matter of time.

    Debbie
    March 21, 2011 - Dad diagnosed. Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma on head of pancreas.
    April 2011 - Gemcitabine and radiation for a total of 12 weeks.
    October 14, 2011 - Successful Whipple procedure. Cancer free! Best 5 months of my life!!!
    March 2, 2012 - CT scan and discovery of possible mets to both lungs.
    March 23, 2012 - Biopsy confirmed recurrence.
    May 2, 2012 - Folfiri regimen started. Stopped after 2 treatments due to infection.
    June 2, 2012 - Switched to Xeloda
    Sept. 21, 2012 - No more chemo...treatment not working anymore. Now we wait and pray.
    October 6, 2012 - My dad is now at peace in Heaven, watching over us until we meet again.

    ♥ Forever in my heart! Miss you every day more than words can say! ♥

  3. #3
    Thank you for your quick response Debbie!

    I have been doing quite a bit of research, and know well the Whipple is VERY MAJOR surgery. Of course, everyone who cares about her is concerned about her current state.. but even though she is moving VERY slow and a little out of sorts, she probably isn't doing to bad right now, but we will see what the DR has to say tomorrow.. Just at the beginning of a long road, I know.
    researching on behalf of good friend - Female, 61, hon smoker, excellent health (prior)
    Oct 2012 - started seeing Dr's for Abdominal pain, had tests for female problems, colonoscopy.. etc
    1/7/13 CT abdomen and Endoscopic Ultrasound - 3.3 x 3.1 hypoechoic mass in head of pancreas Preliminary Path reveals adenocarcinoma
    1/10/13 met with surgeon - Whipple scheduled for 1/16/13
    1/11/13 prelim meeting with oncologist
    1/16/13 Successful Whipple - Stage 3, removed 20 lymph nodes, 3 positive
    3/4/2013 Started 28 sessions of Proton Beam Radiation Therapy and 5FU Chemo (pump)
    5/2/2013 Scheduled for first scan
    5/31/2013 Friend passed away - less than 5 months from diagnosis of pancreatic cancer

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Top User DebbieC's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
    Location
    New Hampshire
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    It is just the beginning of a long road, but sounds like she is a tough cookie and hanging in there. I'm anxious to hear what the doctor has to say tomorrow....keep us posted! I'll be thinking of her!
    March 21, 2011 - Dad diagnosed. Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma on head of pancreas.
    April 2011 - Gemcitabine and radiation for a total of 12 weeks.
    October 14, 2011 - Successful Whipple procedure. Cancer free! Best 5 months of my life!!!
    March 2, 2012 - CT scan and discovery of possible mets to both lungs.
    March 23, 2012 - Biopsy confirmed recurrence.
    May 2, 2012 - Folfiri regimen started. Stopped after 2 treatments due to infection.
    June 2, 2012 - Switched to Xeloda
    Sept. 21, 2012 - No more chemo...treatment not working anymore. Now we wait and pray.
    October 6, 2012 - My dad is now at peace in Heaven, watching over us until we meet again.

    ♥ Forever in my heart! Miss you every day more than words can say! ♥

  5. #5
    Senior User BobbyJo's Avatar
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    Dec 2012
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    Hi I agree that your friend seems like a strong person and will get through this. Our doc said that my hubby would 'turn the corner' 4 to 6 weeks after surgery. And he did! Then came intense chemo and radiation and he got through that too. We had doubts of course and some very low points but there is reason for your friend to be hopeful. And she has a terrific friend like you! Best wishes to you both.
    BobbyJo

    Husband Diagnosed "Borderline Resectable" pancreatic adenocarcinoma January 2012. Chemotherapy for six months. Successful Whipple August 2012 with clean margins, 3 out of 12 nodes positive. Post Whipple Chemo/Radiation for 5.5 weeks ended Dec. 2012. NED for 2 years with great quality of life. Lung spots identified and removed Nov 2014..back on chemo for three months.

  6. #6
    Update:

    She is healing well from the surgery. Pain issues are still a problem, I asked if they were due to the surgery, the Doctors answer was by now most of her pain issues should not be from the surgery. The pain meds are making her very groggy and not able to focus, and constipated. The Dr. suggested she try to take the meds every five to six hours instead of every four hours, but unfortunately she is ready for pain medís every 3 hours. (7.5-500MG Percocet)

    We discussed treatments. We have a follow appointment with the oncologist on Feb 12. They have also scheduled an appointment with a radiation oncologist for Feb 18, and she has a return visit to the surgeon on Feb 14.

    For now, the immediate goal is for her to gain weight. The Dr stated they will not be able to start the necessary further treatments until she puts on 15-20lbs. So this is going to be a challenge. Neighbors are working on supplying high calorie low volume meals.
    researching on behalf of good friend - Female, 61, hon smoker, excellent health (prior)
    Oct 2012 - started seeing Dr's for Abdominal pain, had tests for female problems, colonoscopy.. etc
    1/7/13 CT abdomen and Endoscopic Ultrasound - 3.3 x 3.1 hypoechoic mass in head of pancreas Preliminary Path reveals adenocarcinoma
    1/10/13 met with surgeon - Whipple scheduled for 1/16/13
    1/11/13 prelim meeting with oncologist
    1/16/13 Successful Whipple - Stage 3, removed 20 lymph nodes, 3 positive
    3/4/2013 Started 28 sessions of Proton Beam Radiation Therapy and 5FU Chemo (pump)
    5/2/2013 Scheduled for first scan
    5/31/2013 Friend passed away - less than 5 months from diagnosis of pancreatic cancer

 
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