Two questions: How long do people survive after Whipple procedure? Can you still be athletic after Whipple Procedure?

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RE: Two questions: How long do people survive after Whipple procedure? Can you still be athletic aft

by dianevanda on Tue Oct 28, 2008 12:00 AM

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 I don't yet have an answer to the first question.  My latest CT scan this month shows nothing and I am grateful as always to bore the medical staff.  Keep in mind that we have to stay alive to be able to complain about the side effects of treatment.  I had a Whipple in October 2000, and I do have sort of an answer to the second question.  Having had our stomach capacity reduced in a similar way to weight reduction surgery, it does take a while to have the ability to eat ordinary quantities at a meal again.  In my case it didn't take nearly long enough because when I quit smoking, I gained as much weight as most people do when they quit and for the same reason.  I ate too much.  I still have some trouble not getting a full feeling quickly enough which I think is related to the surgery or radiation, but it is a minor and rare issue in the way Thanksgiving dinner is a symbol of discomfort from overeating.  What I will never be able to do is bend from the waist and pull weeds within an hour after eating without having reflux.  I fervently hope that you will do as well as I have and that you will be sending someone messages a decade or so from now.  Some of us do get that lucky.  Diane

On 4/19/2008 ampullarygrace wrote:

hi.  i am 41 years old and just had my whipple procedure 5 weeks ago.  i am wondering, how long before the stomach muscle heal completely? 

also, my food intake has gone low and so i need to watch my eating so i don't overeat.  is this the case with all survivors?  it is a yucky feeling when i overeat. :(

 

RE: Two questions: How long do people survive after Whipple procedure? Can you still be athletic aft

by Football__Coach on Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:00 AM

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I was glad to read that a cance survivor can resume a normal round of golf.  My father-in-law is an avid golfer and would be lost without the game.  I must serve as his technical support regarding emails and the use of computers.  He has no patience for either.  My father-in-law had his Whipple procedure on Nov 19 and is slowly beginning the recovery process.  I am somewhat concerned about how long this process will take.  The doctors removed the NG tuge prematurely and had to reinsert it before his began to feel better.  He is currently 5 days post-op and the progress is slow.

RE: Two questions: How long do people survive after Whipple procedure? Can you still be athletic after W

by friends4eva on Fri May 07, 2010 04:17 PM

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I have a friend facing the Whipple procedure also... she is an avid swimmer (masters team) and is worried about not being able to swim after recovery.  We fortunately live in the Boston area and have some of the best hospital's & surgeons in the world here... she will be having her surgery at Beth Isreal Deaconess Medical Center.  I found the following patient story (see below link) which gave her lots of hope for her swimming following recovery... I hope it does the same for you & your cycling.  I wish a complication-free surgery & recovery!  I hope you are back on your bike in no time!  Best of Luck!

http://www.bidmc.org/PatientAndVisitorInformation/PatientSto

RE: Two questions: How long do people survive after Whipple procedure? Can you still be athletic aft

by Agha_Khan on Wed May 19, 2010 02:02 PM

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On Feb 21, 2008 12:00 AM Annettejb wrote:

 

On 2/13/2008 happytobehere wrote:

Today is 8 months after my Whipple. I had Ampullary carcinoma of the Ampulla of Vader. The Whipple procedure was successful in removing the tumor, but also took 1/3 of the stomach and 1/3 of the pancreas, duodenum, gall bladder, etc. I lost around 20 pounds from the surgery and reduced appetite from the stomach reduction.

I am 51 years old, male, and had never been in the hospital or even had an IV before this procedure. The hospital stay was 11 days total (8 days post op) and it was amazing the atrophy that took place during this time. My stamina was almost non-existent at first, but gradually got better and better. I never had any dietary restrictions and still do not, but there are certain foods that seem to cause problems. For me, milk, onions, shellfish to name a few. The problems are not that bad to worry about avoiding these foods, just now I know there may be some reaction. I used to take Aciphex for heartburn, but now I take nothing except Centrum Silver vitamins. No other drugs whatsoever and my blood work is perfect, cholesterol is 150, just bilirubin is high.

I am lucky to have never needed Chemo or radiation mainly because they caught this early (4 cm) when it presented itself after I showed signs of jaundice. I had a few days with unknown fevers, but they never found anything until the jaundice. I am lucky the attending was demanding of the tests as I thought it was just hepatitis from traveling. I am fortunate to be able to tell a positive story, but also encourage you that the key to recovery is determination, good spirirts, and a sense of humor. Be patient with the recovery and do not expect things to change overnight. I did get 15 rounds of golf in before winter and found I have a draw now, but less distance. The stomach muscles will take a long time to heal and you always know the scar is there, but looking at the alternatives, this is not so bad. There are definitely some good stories out here and I hope that mine will help anyone anxious about their future.


I was very interested to read your message. I have posted a number of messages in the last year about my case, in the hope that I might give some encouragement to others. I also had a Whipple procedure to remove an adenocarcinoma of the ampulla de Vater in Feb/1998 and have just completed 10 years' survival. I was never a true athlete but these days do aerobics using a runner, rowing machine, arm & leg weights (I am a 72 year old female) at home and lead an active life. I also have bile refluxes as my stomach takes a long time (approx. 23 hours) to empty. I take Sucralphate for this. Otherwise Vit. B1 (thiamine) to compensate the loss of duodenum. Mostly, I find it hard to adapt to several small meals a day. I work full time and don't eat fast food or artificial beverages ever. My tumor was about 1-1/2 cm when biopsied with no metastasis or signs of cancer in the lymph nodes. I am the first person on either side of my family to have had cancer.The surgeon did say that he thought it had been about 1 year growing and also that according to statistics he had studied in 1998 there seemed to be a link between this rare type of cancer to trauma and depression, which I experienced about 18 months before the first symptoms. This was not his personal opinion or that of my oncologist, who simply said 'etiology unknown'. My Whipple was followed by 2 procedures for pancreatic fistulas and then 3 months later by a bile diversion procedure. I was operated in Rio de Janeiro where I live. Keep us posted on yr progress.

Good to read mam about your story.  My wife was also operated in 2007 and pra she also lives a long healthy life.

She is taking Centrum besides Vit D - 50000 IU per week to keep her levels in range.  Also she takes pancreatic enzymes - CREON 10000 - one tablet with each meal.  However she has a problem of Gas whenever she takes servings of  vegetables - She wants to avoid it now but still taking it.  Will appreciate your feed back.

Wishing you a healthy life.

Fiaz - Pakistan.

RE: Two questions: How long do people survive after Whipple procedure? Can you still be athletic aft

by mrlau7 on Sat Sep 11, 2010 09:38 PM

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I had Whipple in May 2000.  While I did survive the Whipple, my GI never works the same ever since the Wipple.  I have since been diagnosed to have type 2 diabete and my blood glucose run erratic. I occasional encounter incontinent of bowel which is very embarrasing.  I have some gatroparesis, and according to my GI doctor, my GI system looks as normal as can be for the post whipple patient and the problem I am encountering, i.e., incontinent of bowl and erratic blood glucose, are due to surviving so many years after Whipple!!!!  It sounds like it is the price I have to pay for surviving so long!!!  I am just curious, are there anyone who are experiencing the same problem as I am?

RE: Two questions: How long do people survive after Whipple procedure? Can you still be athletic aft

by GrannyNan on Mon Dec 20, 2010 08:24 PM

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I had the Whipple done on Feb. 11, 2010.  Unfortunately, complications unfolded, my spleen ruptured, and I had 6 surgical procedures in all, plus in the hospital in bed, most of the time on the respirator for 1 full month.

Although it's been 10 months now, I suffer from periods of horrible, crippling pain in the mid section of my abdomen. It goes into spasms, feels like contractions when you're in labor, and at times feels close or on the thoracic spine area, inside my abdomen.  I also suffer from bowel incontinence occasionally. No way I can control it, and it is embarrassing, and is keeping me home bound. I also have bladder incontinence more than I had before the surgery.

Please don't get me wrong. I'm thankful I'm cancer free at this time, and will keep doing the follow ups. I also suffer from my abdomen being reall distended, and it makes me look like I'm 7 months pregnant.

Has anyone else experienced this?

Thanks

GrannyNan

RE: Two questions: How long do people survive after Whipple procedure? Can you still be athletic after W

by conniemell on Thu Feb 24, 2011 03:04 PM

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If you are in good physical health you will come back from the Whipple. I had one in 2007 or at least a modified Whipple. Mine was stage one and they did not give me any chemo after the surgery. One and one half years later they saw a small leasion in my liver. At that time they removed it leparoscopicallly and then said that now I did need chemo which I did for nine months.  After I stopped the chemo and got my energy back I began to play tennis as much as 5-6 times a week. Felt terrific until this winter when there was a reoccurance in my abdomen. Just had another surgery six weeks ago and am now begining to feel good again. I have an appointment with my oncologist next week to see what is next for me. I cannot wait to get back on the tennis court as it has been very theuraputic for me. My biggest problem seems to be where is the best hospital and oncologist to get help for this ampullary cancer and what is the best  treatment. No one has any definitive answers.

Good luck to you and you will bounce back after the Whipple. Especially if you are in good shape to begin with.

RE: Two questions: How long do people survive after Whipple procedure? Can you still be athletic after W

by R0adKrazee56 on Tue Aug 23, 2011 04:43 PM

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Hi Janet from Michigan, my name is Tony (R0adKrazee56).  Last Nov, I had two tumors removed from the Ampulla of Vater.  In Jan '11, they returned, and removed in June.  Now, will go for the Whipple next month.  I am a cyclist also, and that was my first question; will I be able to get back on my bike, not necessarily to race again, but just get the peace of mind of turning the pedals, as I would/could not survive without the support of my bikes, Thor and Angelle.  Not to leave out my family, but sometimes they help create the stress that Thor and Angelle relieve.  I was extremely concerned, as I worked in surgery in my younger days, and saw one Whipple procedure, and there, you never see the patient once they leave the O.R.   Would love to hear from you and your journey since 2008.  Watch out, as I can type/talk your eyes/ears off if you let me.  Would love to converse with cyclist.  Thank you for your time in listening, and hope to hear from you.  Fight the Good Fight!!

RE: Two questions: How long do people survive after Whipple procedure? Can you still be athletic after W

by squand on Tue Aug 23, 2011 05:19 PM

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You should post on pc,I am not a DOCTOR and can say only what I have expericed.I had my whipple july 2010,the surgery went good,went home in 5 days with no tubes,it was a 6hour drive to boot.I feel I can do anything now I did before with the exception of lifting,haft to watch that.So I see no reason you shouldn't be able to ride as much as you want.I would think it would actually be good for you.

take care

Rick

RE: Two questions: How long do people survive after Whipple procedure? Can you still be athletic after W

by gastro1 on Tue Aug 23, 2011 08:08 PM

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On Aug 23, 2011 4:43 PM R0adKrazee56 wrote:

Hi Janet from Michigan, my name is Tony (R0adKrazee56).  Last Nov, I had two tumors removed from the Ampulla of Vater.  In Jan '11, they returned, and removed in June.  Now, will go for the Whipple next month.  I am a cyclist also, and that was my first question; will I be able to get back on my bike, not necessarily to race again, but just get the peace of mind of turning the pedals, as I would/could not survive without the support of my bikes, Thor and Angelle.  Not to leave out my family, but sometimes they help create the stress that Thor and Angelle relieve.  I was extremely concerned, as I worked in surgery in my younger days, and saw one Whipple procedure, and there, you never see the patient once they leave the O.R.   Would love to hear from you and your journey since 2008.  Watch out, as I can type/talk your eyes/ears off if you let me.  Would love to converse with cyclist.  Thank you for your time in listening, and hope to hear from you.  Fight the Good Fight!!

Well, I'm not a cyclist nor an athlete, but I do like keeping in reasonable shape.  I'm responding because I'm in a similar situation as you.  I had a precancerous tumor removed from my ampulla in 2008.  It's returning, with some very unhappy cells, so it looks like I'll be having a whipple as well.  My next scheduled scope is in February, but I may see a surgeon before that for a consultation.

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