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TEN MONTHS SINCE WHIPPLE & CAN


My mom, Helen, started have stomach pain (not too severe). If I remember correctly, she had back pain prior to the stomach pain (but again, not too severe). Then all of a sudden she jaundiced. I drove 500 miles to the hospital where she had been admitted. I could not believe the color of her skin and eyes. Her urine was very dark. Because my mom had always been a very social drinker, I just knew her liver was going. But..the doctor told us she had a collapsed or blocked common bile duct that had caused the jaundiced color. This was in October 2002. My mom was taken to out-patient surgery and had a stint placed in her common bile duct. The jaundice disappeared and all seemed o.k. However, the local surgeon gave my mom a referral to a Lexington, Kentucky oncology surgeon. I immediately got on the internet and started research. My heart dropped when I read that jaundice and common bile duct blockages can be a sign of pancreatic cancer. I was also very saddened to read that the stint would only last for three months and would have to be replaced. My anxiety was unbelievable. Like clockwork, in January 2003 my mom's stint had to be replaced. Then the oncology surgeon told us that my mom would have to have a surgery called 'Whipple' because she had a suspicious area in the head of her pancreas. On February 27 2003 my mom had the surgery, and I am so HAPPY TODAY TO SAY SHE IS DOING VERY WELL. It has been ten months and no other cancer cells have been identified. All tests have come back negative. She went through radiation o.k., but she had to stop chemo because she did not tolerate it very well. I have planned to take her on a vacation to the mountains in Tennessee the first of June. She is so excited about the trip. I am so thankful she jaundiced very early and could have the Whipple surgery. My mom is a nurse and has taken care of so many others. I had such a hard time seeing her just after the surgery. When I ask how she is doing, she replied, 'I'm doing o.k. I have some bad days but the good ones are more plentiful. I look back now at the lost hope I couldn't find at this time last year. You just never know and should never lose faith.


Posted 02/05/2004 01:59 pm by Claudette
E-mail Address: reaume@umich.edu

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