So a year and a half ago my world was turned upside down. My dad had been sick for a week or so and after not eating for a week he decided he would go to the doctor. Our family doctor thought it was an ulcer. So he went for a cat scan and started some medicine. That Friday afternoon I got the news that they saw something on his pancreas. A tumor of some kind. They scheduled him for another test on the following Monday.
Monday comes, he gets the second scan and we wait. The results put our family into shock. A cancerous tumor on the head of his pancreas. It was pushing on everything and was causing lots of problems.
The next week we had an appointment with a specialist who said that yes it looks like cancer and we need to do a Whipple procedure….. A what????? I have been in the radiology field taking x-rays and an EMT and had never heard of this…..
In quick and generic terms. They would remove the gallbladder, the head of the pancreas where the tumor was located, attache the small bowl the the pancreas, and re route the stomach some. Basically re route the digestion plumbing. We were scheduled for the following week. So in 3 weeks time we went from an ulcer to a major surgery they put as being worse than an open heart procedure.
Being an only daughter this scared the hell out of me. Luckily my aunt and uncle cut vacation short and rushed home to be with us.
Surgery day…. All went well. Matter of fact dad did not even have to go to ICU as first predicted. We learned his liver was kind of yucky but not complete cirrhosis as of yet. So besides being sore and a little out of it from the morphine we were doing ok. Until day 3…… He started acting funny. Then his heart rate went out of wack. He was stuck at a heart rate of 177 in SVT. Basically NOT GOOD. After doing this twice they decided they needed a cat scan to rule out a blood clot. Out came the mean dad from being on the morphine. Moms in tears. He is yelling. I kicked mom out and I insert my foot up his butt. I get him to calm down, agree to the procedure, the nurse hires me ? and I leave the room. I walk down the hall and around the corner and loose it. I call my husband a mess…
This was my view for the next week. ICU…. Dad had gotten a blood clot in his lungs. But while in the ICU we got the most amazing news. IT IS NOT CANCER!!!!!!!!!! It is a cystic fibrotic mass.
The strongest person I know now fighting for everything. 18 days after we were admitted we went home. And since then we have been in and out for malnutrition. After arguing and fighting with doctors telling them he needed the pancreatic enzyme supplement pills we finally got a doctor to listen and he agreed that he needed them. My once 160 pound dad reduced to 93 pounds….
We still have ups and downs. Appetite and no appetite. Food taste great or taste like crap. And now this past week he has had severe pain in his belly, again. Another cat scan and found enteritis in his small bowel….. Our doctor tells us, “I don’t know what to do with you, go see another doctor”…………………… I’m sorry, what?!?!?!?!
So now I am on the hunt for a new family doctor for my dad as we try and treat this infection in his belly. I am very curious if any other Masshole members out there have been through anything like this…. Granted this is a condensed version of what everything, but I would love to connect with others who have been through this before.
About Brandi Christian
Stay at home mom, Stepmom and Girl Scout Leader with a passion for a healthy lifestyle.