Recovery after surgery

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DutchGirl69 DutchGirl69
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Recovery after surgery

by DutchGirl69 on Wed Apr 25, 2012 09:21 PM

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Our father had a 7 hour exploratory surgery for a mass on the tail of his pancrease 2 weeks ago. No intervention was done due to the extent of the cancer. The CT scan one week prior to surgery showed a small 2cm mass on the tail of the pancrease. In reality 80% of the pancrease is infiltrated along with major blood vessels/celiac nerve being involved.

We were able to get him home within 3 days after surgery.

At this point we are trying to control his pain and get him to eat. It seems like he is worse now than before surgery? 

We would like to try chemotherapy, but he seems so weak. How long of a recovery after the surgery should be expected? I would think he should be getting stronger by now? Before all this started a few short months ago, our dad was very active and strong. This seems to be moving so quickly.

Any advice?

RE: Recovery after surgery

by Kejnah on Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:35 PM

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My dad had the same sort of thing as well.  They had planned on taking out the pancreatic cancer but it had already spread to the liver.  They did a couple of bypasses so that it wouldn't block of his bile duct and small intestine.  He stayed in the hospital about 4 days.  The first days after surgery are usually the hardest because the bowel does not like to be manipulated.  Getting him up and walking will help a lot of the pain from his abdomen. 

We are planning on chemotherapy as well.  How old is your dad?  Does he have other health problems?  I talked to an oncologist friend of ours and she told me that if he's sturdy that Folfirinox is the best bet but that clinical trials are also a reasonable option since there are few options for us at this point.  I think at the end of the day, it depends on what he wants to do and what he is comfortable withstanding.  Sometimes, getting a diagnosis like this makes people depressed and in pain (physical and otherwise) and that might be why he is feeling so weak.  It has taken my dad about a week to get back on his feet (with much cajoling by the rest of the family).  I will keep you and your family in my prayers.  Our surgeon told us that sometimes there are miracles...

RE: Recovery after surgery

by Slsteere on Thu Apr 26, 2012 01:41 AM

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Thank you so much for sharing with us. Our dad was in great physical condition prior to this. His pain, weight loss, and malaise started around December and continued to worsen. His surgery was on April 10th, so just over 2weeks now. I guess we need to be patient and give him time to recover. He has been walking almost everyday since. We have had a hard time balancing/managing his pain meds/constipation/nausea/pancreatic enzymes/decreased appetite and so on. He seems to be loosing weight so fast and has such a hard time eating. What foods has you dad been eating? Does he have an appetite? What about pain? Is he taking Creon(pancreatic enzymes)? I just hope our dads are strong enough for chemo. I am also afraid that chemo may do more damage than good. Our dad has adenocarcinoma-we are told by our oncologist that this type is very aggressive. My prayers are with you and your family- God bless you and thanks again for sharing

RE: Recovery after surgery

by Slsteere on Thu Apr 26, 2012 01:43 AM

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On Apr 25, 2012 11:35 PM Kejnah wrote:

My dad had the same sort of thing as well.  They had planned on taking out the pancreatic cancer but it had already spread to the liver.  They did a couple of bypasses so that it wouldn't block of his bile duct and small intestine.  He stayed in the hospital about 4 days.  The first days after surgery are usually the hardest because the bowel does not like to be manipulated.  Getting him up and walking will help a lot of the pain from his abdomen. 

We are planning on chemotherapy as well.  How old is your dad?  Does he have other health problems?  I talked to an oncologist friend of ours and she told me that if he's sturdy that Folfirinox is the best bet but that clinical trials are also a reasonable option since there are few options for us at this point.  I think at the end of the day, it depends on what he wants to do and what he is comfortable withstanding.  Sometimes, getting a diagnosis like this makes people depressed and in pain (physical and otherwise) and that might be why he is feeling so weak.  It has taken my dad about a week to get back on his feet (with much cajoling by the rest of the family).  I will keep you and your family in my prayers.  Our surgeon told us that sometimes there are miracles...

I replied to you under my sisters sign in. This is DutchGirl69. If you look @ this profile pic...that is me and my 2 sisters.

RE: Recovery after surgery

by Kejnah on Fri Apr 27, 2012 01:24 AM

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It's a hard balance with the pain and eating.  Our surgeon was able to do a nerve block while he was in there, so I think that helps some but he has a lot of the same gas pains after he eats.  So far he has not needed the Creon yet but it's been hard to get him to eat certain foods and things are complicated because he is pretty much a type 1 diabetic now (so we have to manage the blood sugars as well).  There are some fairly hardy nutritional supplement shakes which don't taste that awful--  Glucerna, Boost (I hear Boost has the best taste and is the most gentle).  Also, we are trying to get in to see a nutritionist at the alternative medicine center-- there are several foods/compounds that have shown promise for cancer-killing capabilities including coix seed (aka Job's tears) and curcumin (which have been used in cell-cultures and in some clinical trials).  I'm no expert on these, but I want to see if we can talk to a nutritionist to see if any of these will help.  We will keep you in our prayers.

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