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After this operation -- whether it be a Whipple or a Distal -- we deal with a whole new set of health issues -- blood clots, cachexia, depression, eating disorders, gastroparesis, diabetes, diabetic neuropathy, obstructions, malnutrition/malnurishment, etc. These are on-going issues, they can be controlled with meds, but you don't just wake up on your 5th anniversary post dx or post surgery and they no longer exist. To me, the greatest pain is when your loved ones think you are lying because you are 'Cured' and compared to other cancers, you would be, but this is Pancreatic Cancer and it doesn't play by the rules.
PC Survivors ARE blessed and happy for every day we are still with our loved ones. In 2005 my children were 21, 17, 13 and 10 years old. Since then, I've been blessed by attending ALL of their school concerts, honors dinners, sports activities and graduations. I've been blessed by seeing them grow into responsible adults, seeing my oldest son join the Air Force, being there for his graduation from boot camp, marrying, buying his first house and presenting me with my first Grand child. My oldest daughter is currently a home nurse for my sister, my youngest son and daughter are attending college, with my son looking forward to owning his own construction company and my youngest daughter looking forward to becoming a Veterinarian. And, of course, the greatest joy is growing old with my love of 23 years, my husband. ALL of nine years of wonderful days, fraught with celebrations, Holidays and time spent with the most important people in my life -- my family; and along the way, I picked up a new family...those of us that have PC and their families. We come together as strangers, but soon become life-long members of a very special family.
So yes, it is not rosy when your realize you won't go back to normal
health-wise; BUT when you weigh that with all of the good things you would
have missed, you are extremely happy and thankful to be alive! Survivors
smell one rose and then look forward to smelling the next.
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