Lainy and Eli: thank you for the good wishes and great information. I will find out if she is having the Whipple surgery. It was quite crazy when she went to see the surgeon for the first and only time. He needed a cat scan with contrast and was surprised that she hadn't had one, so being the great sport that she is, said "if you'll get it o.k'd with my insurance, I'll wait right here and we can do it now". So off he went, got the insurance o.k. and she was able to get the cat scan that evening. She didn't see the doctor again, but has been in contact with his surgical nurse for scheduling. The nurse asked her if she would like to see the doctor prior to surgery but she declined, because he had told her that surgery was optimal, and she just wants to get it done. Most of my information has been from looking online, and now from you. I had read about the Whipple and suspect that is what she is having based on location. I didn't know they would remove that much though - eesh. Prior to surgery she has to have a pre-op check-up, a 3 hour glucose tolerance test to see how her pancreas is metabolizing sugars (not sure if I have that correct), and a special blood test in case she has to have a transfusion during surgery. One of my concerns, Eli, when you mentioned nutrition after surgery, is that I had read that the stomach can stop functioning for a while. She is such a tiny little thing as it is - she's 5'3" and 102 pounds! She's always been little, but did lose about 8 pounds during all of this since November. She has always been a pretty healthy eater - we used to call her the Prevention Lady as kids because we'd be off to Taco Bell or In N Out and she'd convince us to stay home and make salads or omelets! She is eating well, but nothing that will really put weight on her...maybe that's not neccesary?
Marions: thank you so much for your good wishes and I will pass them on to my Stepmummy. Everyday we bumble around in disbelief also that both she and Dad have the same cancer. It was 5 1/2 years between each of their diagnosis. It has to be something they either ate or came in contact with in common, we just don't know what it is. The only difference between the two is that Dad's was intrahepatic and Stepmum's is extrahepatic. Also, when Dad's finally presented he was at Stage IV. We don't have a stage yet, but she presented with jaundice and Dad didn't jaundice until the end. The docs are astounded as well.
Sweetdreams to all!