Topic: Update on my dad

Hello again,
I posted a few days ago regarding my dad , he was diagnosed with CC this past March, you can see my first post on( Introductions) section.
I want to thank everyone for their advice and kind words.
My dad was taken into surgery yesterday morning , surgeon told us that he taught it was resectable and if it had spread to other parts he would not proceed with surgery. I walked with my dad as he was wheeled to the OR floor , I felt like I was going to faint , i held back my tears as much as I could. We were waiting in waiting area and two hours later nurse informed us that the Dr will proceed with surgery. Dad had the whipple surgery and was in OR from 11 Am until 8 pm. Surgeon told us that he had done biopsy while doing surgery and the cancer had not spread .
We got to see my dad after he was transferred to Intensive care, he was very groggy because of all the anesthesia but the surgery went well and his vitals are pretty good. I am very thankful to GOD because he heard our prayers, now I pray that my dad does not have any complications because this was a huge surgery.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.
Psalm 23:4

Re: Update on my dad

Congratulations on the success of the surgery. I share your joy.  There is so much to be grateful for in that your Dad was eligible to have the surgery and that the cancer was contained within the resected area.  It is a difficult surgery and demands a certain recovery time, but each day is one step closer to feeling well again.  Stay positive, dear Crownsunshine, your Dad may very well not experience any complications.  Thanks for keeping us informed and please stay in touch.

Hugs,
Marion

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Update on my dad

Dear CrownSunshine, this is just fantastic news. YIPPEE! I am so happy for your Dad and the family. Doesn't get much better than this. You just need a lot of patience as this surgery will require a long healing process. I think it took my husband about 3 months to be normal again. Usually the biggest change you will see are the eating habits. Like, Teddy was a chocoholic and after the Whipple couldn't stand anything sweet. Time will take care of everything. The worst is over. We have a new Super Hero! Please keep us updated on Dad's progress.

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: Update on my dad

Dear CrownSunshine,

I am so happy that your Dad was able to have surgery and is doing well. What a blessing for you and your family. I will keep him in my prayers. Please keep us updated on his progress.

Hugs,
-Pam

My beautiful daughter, Lauren Patrice, will live on in my heart forever.

My comments, suggestions, and opinions are based on my experience as a caretaker for my daughter, Lauren and from reading anything I can get my hands on about Cholangiocarcinoma. Please consult a physician for professional guidance.

Re: Update on my dad

Dear Crownsunshine,

This is great news and a lovely post to read this evening :-)

Clare

In the stars now . . . .

Re: Update on my dad

Hi there,

That is great news indeed that your dads surgery went well, thanks for letting us know how it went. Yes it will take a bit of time for him to recover and I hope also that his recovery goes smoothly for him. And should you wish to look for them, there are a lot of posts on the site about the whipples if you wish to read them. Please keep us updated on how things go for your dad.

My best wishes to you and your dad,

Gavin

Any advice or comments I give are based on personal experiences and knowledge and are my opinions only, they are not to be substituted for professional medical advice. Please seek professional advice from a qualified doctor or medical professional.

Re: Update on my dad

Hello everybody,

I just want to say that I am grateful that I found this online board, I have been reading for a few weeks now and I have learned so much. Thank you to everyone that has replied to me .
Today is day two post op for my dad and he really can't talk , he says his throat hurts bad but I'm sure it's from the tube they put on his throat during surgery, nurse has given him lozenges which help a little. He also complains that his stomach hurts but it is being contolled with pain medication. The one thing he really hates is the catherer which he says is very painful, but overall his vitals are good and he says he feels a little better. The nurse said that today he might leave intensive care since he is doing so well. He is already sitting up in the chair now and will start to walk a bit.
My dad has gone through so much and recovery will be a while and I worry that the cancer will come back. I pray to God it doesn't , I will remain positive.
Thank you for listening.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.
Psalm 23:4

Re: Update on my dad

CrownSunshine,

Just know that the Whipple's surgery does take some time to recover however can assure you that in a few weeks time you will be surprised by the recovery he makes!!

My suggestion from past experience regarding your fear of relapse; look at the tumour margins and also how many lymph nodes they took out (my dad had only 9 out and I read so many stories here where they had 20 nodes out. I wonder if the surgeon took enough out).

Also ask many opinions regarding pros/cons re preventaive/adjuvant chemotherpay. I had asked two oncologists whom said it was not required as he had negative lymph nodes and also good margins (unfortunately I did not know of this board at the time- i wish I did) and am  wondering if we should of done some chemptherapy like many people in the US seem to

all the very best of luck for your father

Rain

Re: Update on my dad

Dear Crownsunshine, actually your Dad is moving along nicely, one of the things with this surgery is to be very patient as the healing process can be pretty lengthy but when the tubes are all out the comfort level will get much better. I have one suggestion. I had a different stomach cancer and when I woke up I had the tube down my throat for 4 days. I immediately asked for Cloraseptic throat spray and it worked beautifully. I was leery about swallowing a lozenge and I could eat a little and talk after I sprayed. Well, noone has really ever stopped me from talking! I hope things will continue upward and all in all this really is a good report.

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: Update on my dad

I'm so happy to hear your dad is doing well. My dad was diagnosed January 2013. Kind of the same story as yours... he was loosing a lot of weight and his PCP said it was because of his high blood sugar and sent him to an endocrinolgoist. All his liver function tests were and still are normal. The endocrinologist felt his abdomen and felt his liver was a little too big. He sent my dad for an ultrasound, then a CT, then he referred us to an oncologist. The oncologist had a biopsy done and confirmed stage 4 CC. At that time my dad was not a surgery candidate because the tumor had spread to both lobes but yesterday we found out that he is now eligible for surgery. Please keep us posted on your dad's recovery and stay as possitive as you can and trust me i know its not always easy. Its all mind over matter. Wishing your father a quick recovery and you and your family the strength to help your dad fight this ugly battle.

Re: Update on my dad

A Daughter's wish. I would say you are a lucky daughter...you got your wish! THANK GOODNESS  the Endocrinologist sent Dad to an ONC! What is scheduled next for Dad and where is he going to be treated. I am a little confused how he was unresectable and now he can have the surgery. In between this time did he have Chemo? Wishing you the very best and please keep us updated.

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: Update on my dad

Hi Lainy, yes, we were very lucky because there were no signs until the weight loss. The tumor has taken over his entire left lobe, a smaller section of his right, some lymphnodes around the liver, and some small nodules in his lungs. We are still doing chemo oxaliplatin and gemzar. After the 4th round of the cocktail they sent him for a scan to see if there has been any change. The good news was that the left side did not get bigger and the right side has gone away which the docs feel more confident about doing a lobeectomy of the left side to which holds 95% of the tumor. Then do some post op chemo for the lymphnodes and nodules in the lungs. Sorry CrownShine to take up space on your post.

Re: Update on my dad

Rain....adjuvant therapy has only come about within the last few years - mainly 3 or 4 years.  Seven out of eight physicians prescribe adjuvant therapy not based on scientific evidence, but rather on "possibly" ruling out a recurrence.  Also there is no standard set for the type of chemotherapy best suited.   Within the next few years (2 or more) we should have the results of some clinical trials underway now. 
Hugs,
Marion

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Update on my dad

Crownsunshine,

Glad to hear your father had his surgery.  I had a whipple and I can tell you from experience that it's a long recovery.  There wasn't a single day that I woke up and thought "oh I feel so much better" but I did feel better gradually. It's important to keep moving, keep hydrated, and keep up with good nutrition even when not hungry.

Depression is often a side effect of the slow recovery and for me it was important for people to remind me that I had had major surgery and to be kind to myself.

I did have adjuvant chemotherapy (Gemzar, 6 months, 1x week for 3 weeks, 1 week off).  I did it because I didn't want to have any regrets, but there were no data that supported doing it versus not doing it.  It was just my gut feeling.  Since Gemzar is "easily tolerated" according to doctors (who I am sure have never had Gemzar!) it seemed like a good choice. 

It's really an individual decision (along with family/doctor consultation).  There is no right or wrong.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery for your dad.

-Randi-

Survivor of cholangiocarcinoma (2009), thyroid cancer (1999), and breast cancer (1994).

My comments, suggestions, and opinions are based only on my personal experience as a cancer survivor. Please consult a physician for professional guidance.

Re: Update on my dad

Hello,
My dad is 5 days post op today from having the Whipple surgery.  He gets a little better each day, gets tired often. He is still in Intensive care, but will be moved to a different floor today. I met with his surgeon yesterday and he said everything seems to be going smoothly and my dad is doing great. He is waiting on the pathology results.
My dad has been walking around the hallway 2-3 times a day for the past two days, and last night he was allowed to eat. Dr said that he will go home sometime next week.

Again thank you to everyone that has given me advice, I really appreciate it.

randigb , I will speak with my dad's onc aout the chemo , I'm very glad you are doing well wink

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.
Psalm 23:4

Re: Update on my dad

Dear Crownsunshine, such great news, I think we should take the Crown from your name and put it on Dad's head. He is incredible! He will get tired for quite a while yet, don't forget this is the largest surgery to the human body, it will take time but he is doing so well. I am so happy for you and your family. Perhaps the Nurses would let you bring something light for him to eat tomorrow to celebrate Mother's Day together. Wishing you all the very best.

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: Update on my dad

Hello Everyone,

Just a quick update on my dad:

Tomorrow he is 14 days post op from Whipple surgery, He is healing very well , is getting stronger despite having diabetes , his appetite is not what it used to be , he seems to get full after a few bites but he eats every few hours, He walks a little faster and has a little pain from incision but over all he is doing well. Hopefully he gains weight back because he looks very skinny , I hate to see him like that
He saw the surgeon/ oncologist  last Friday and he said everything is going very well and is surprised on how well my dad is doing. My sister went with my dad that day , my sis said that the surgeon said something about the pathology coming back and had about 10 lymph nodes removed and one was abnormal  and that he should get that checked out, which he now has an appointment in 2 weeks with the Onc.
So can anyone tell me what does abnormal lymph node mean? I am starting to think what if it spread somewhere else?  I know I have to think positive  hmm The surgeon had said his tumor/cancer had not spread , so now I'm confused ,   yes I'm starting to worry again

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.
Psalm 23:4

Re: Update on my dad

Hi Crownshine,

Basically it sounds like that even though there was no macroscopic (that is to the visible eye) there was some microscopic spread to the lymph nodes.

The suggestion from the oncologist would be to do chemotherapy (assume GEM/cisplatin ) once your dad can tolerate it.

I know you are worried and can fully understand that however once you have plan in place I assure you it will become more manageable.

All my thoughts

Re: Update on my dad

crownsunshine....I agree with Rain.  I would wait and see what the oncologist will recommend.  The likelihood of adjuvant therapy is high, but then 7 of 10 physicians order it for their patients so, nothing too unexpected.  You have all the reasons to stay in a positive mode.
Hugs,
Marion

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Update on my dad

Rain,
Does that mean his cancer is spreading to other parts ? I'm, very confused about all this.

Marions,
Yes we need to wait to see what the onc says, but will stay positive

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.
Psalm 23:4

Re: Update on my dad

Hi Crownshine,

Your Oncologist will give you all the appropriate answers and I hope I didnt confuse you further. I know that the hardest part of this process is the wait - it can be nerve racking and we are all always waiting for something; for a test result, for a CT scan, to speak to a doctor etc.

Just because he has some potential disease in his lymph nodes (again this is my understanding from your post however please ask your oncologist to confirm) it doesnt mean it has spread anywhere else. Before a Whipples they perform a variety of tests including MRIs etc to check that it there is no visibile spread anywhere else.

It is important during this process that you look at the positive aspects; your father has managed to have surgery that many unfortunately can't and  that they only saw one out of nine lymph nodes with what sounds  like microscopic disease (however again get the doctors to confirm this point please)

This information is what oncologists use to make a game plan; and I am sure they will for your father.

I hope I haven't created more apprehension and confusion as this is the last thing I wanted to do.

Rest assured that your Oncologist will explain everything in a better manner and importantly will use this information to plan your father's treatment.

I wish all the best for you as I understand how you feel with my father undergoing this process.

All my best