My first symptoms started in February '10 with weight loss, loss of appetite and slight pressure in center of chest when eating. After a round of diagnostic testing beginning in mid March, I had Whipple Surgery on 5/25/10 and was found to have a malignant 2cm mass in the vater. Cancer cells were in the center of the mass and one lymph node. Hospital stay was 13 days, was discharged with a feeding tube and on a clear liquid diet for 7 days after discharge. Once I started to eat more solid foods I found everything tasted like cardboard... no taste buds. That is very frustrating, and makes it difficult to eat when you don't enjoy the food. Fortunate I did find Ensure to be a suitable drink and consumed 6 a day until I could eat more. Finally after 5 weeks the taster returned! My wife pushed lemonade and spicy foods on me and I believe that worked to stimulate the taste returning. I am 77 years old and in otherwise good health, this being my first hospital confinement. Fortunate I have not have any complications from surgery. Experienced very little pain and the main discomfort was the nausea and vomiting that began around day 10 when introduced to full liquid diet. The delayed stomach emptying brought everyting up with horrible bile that burned my throat and chin. Once that was under control and gave the stomach a rest things began to improve. Has been 5 weeks since surgery and am starting to feel a bit more like myself again. I will update my progress as I continue to improve. June 29, 2010. Update July 15, 2010 I returned to my normal part time work schedule as a design engineer on July 13 and based on how I feel consider myself very fortunate to have had such a quick recovery to good health. My appetite is very good and have no digestive problems. I will start chemo by mouth on 7/22/10 (Xeloda)1500mg twice daily and begin radiation at the same time. I have gained 8 pounds and continue to drink 3 or 4 Ensure along with meals and eat many snacks. I will update my profile once treatment is started. Finished the radiation 9/3/10 and had to discontinue the Xeloda after 3 weeks due to stomach erosion. Glad to be thru with treatments and will wait 3 weeks before a scan is ordered. Updated 11/17/10 The scan and lab report both clean! I will be celebrating 6 months post-op on Nov 25th. I feel so very fortunate to feel good, am able to continue working part time and enjoy life! I am looking forward to the follow up with the surgeon in April, the oncologist and radiologist told me I sure am making the surgeon look good with my progress and recovery! Jan 7, 2011 Tumor marker down from 14 to 10 which is great news. CT scan is normal. Feeling good and glad 2011 is off to a Great Start!
Update to Ray's profile by Wife Julia. We lost Ray Sept 13, 2011 after a struggle with a variety of disgestive disturbances that begain in Feb 2011 after being prescribed 50,000 units of Vit D. Only one of the Vit D pills was taken and within 24 hrs he suffered severe gastric distress and began a downward, that included reactive hyperplasia (stomach) malabsorbtion, small intestine bacteria overgrowth, barrets esophagus, chronic diarrhea, inability to eat solid foods. He survived on a liquid nutrition diet during this time. He had a small intestine blockage that came on quickly, admitted to hospital 9/10/11 and he left with very little suffering peacefully at home in the care of hospice on 9/13/11. Since Ray's death I have learned many people I know are taking the RX Vit D. One person taking 50,000 units told me their doc told them Vit D is now the Vitamin De Joure! Please read the side effects of this DRUG, it is not indicated for geriatic patients in the strength Ray was given and with other health issues it can cause many complications as was evidenced by Ray's health quickly deteriorating after taking only ONE of the Vit 50,000 unit pills.