'Lucky' to Be Able to Have Whipple Surgery
by Dixie Redfearn
(Seal Beach, CA)
I am a 70 year old female who was dx with Stage 2B Pancreatic Cancer after a family member noticed signs of jaundice. My surgery was done by Dr. Au Bui at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, CA. in Sept.of 2017. The surgeon was known for this procedure and had even perfected his own version. I'm told it took about 9 hours and of course everything was fuzzy for days afterward.
However, in the year since, I have had NO problems with elimination, digestion or anything associated with the Whipple. I know that is unusual.
When they told me they were leaving an "open wound" I didn't comprehend that it would be an actual HOLE in my abdomen! I never saw it in the hospital, but finally looked after a few days home when a nurse was here. It was the size and depth of a tennis ball. I tried not to look again.
The surgery left me exhausted and weak and I left the hospital 3 weeks later.
One side effect I never saw mentioned was getting a hernia. That sucker popped up a few months after my surgery and it is big! Doesn't hurt and I wear a band around it when I go out.
Now, a year later, I have been on Gemzar and 5 F-U for 6 months. I was tired and sick of chemo so I asked for some time off. Within 8 weeks my tumor markers were going up again. So, it's back to the old chemo; a consult with a hot shot doctor and a look at clinical trials. I plan to make decisions on those and other issues after the first of the year.
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