Topic: Does anyone not choose surgery?

Hi All:

I'm still in that newly diagnosed category and struggling.

My question is this: is there anyone out there who was able to have the surgery but chose not to?

I know that it's considered a godsend to be able to have the surgery, and know that so many folks are not able to have it by the time the CC is caught.

But surgery isn't a cure as we know -- and everyone faces the possibility that after waking from this horrible surgery you will be told that they couldn't get it all.

Given the on-going awfulness of post-surgery life (versus the eventual awfulness of non-surgery life) -- is there an argument to be made for foregoing surgery?

Just wondered. There are many thoughtful people on this site and I am sure this has been contemplated before.

Peace to all,
Irene

Re: Does anyone not choose surgery?

irenea,
Based on everything I've read your best chances of survival and extending your life is to have to have surgery.  If surgery was an option for my dad we would be jumping all over it.
Other with personal experience I'm sure will be chiming in.
I Pray for peace with whatever decision you make.

Re: Does anyone not choose surgery?

I think I was one of the "bad" surgery patients. Where most people stay only a week in the hospital, I was there 2. I had terrible pain and my body just did not want to mend, so I ended up having a blood transfusion about 4 days after surgery. I could not eat, I could not sleep (only about 3 hours a day for the first 3 weeks). I had to talk to nutrientists at the hospital because they were worried. I ended up going back into the hospital for another week only 10 days after I got home because of an infection. For months after, I was tired and I hurt. For almost a year, my body made strange bubbly sounds when I moved too much. I still pass gass like it is an olympic event. BUT, here I am 18 months past surgery and am doing great. I still dont have all my strength back, but I had other problems that got in the way. My last scan was clean. I dont have so much pain and life is pretty much going on as planned. Despite spending a month in the hospital from the surgery, despite the pain, and despite the enormous amount of gas I now produce, I think it was the right and only decision for me. I live on hope, and this surgery is what gave that to me.

Kris

Cancer is a word, not a sentence.

36 year old patient with buckets of hope

Re: Does anyone not choose surgery?

Irene,

I have to agree with Kris. Our stories are so similar it's scary.  I spent nine days in the hospital after surgery.  It was tough, it hurt, I couldn't sleep well (even as drugged up as I was!) and I had trouble keeping any food down. I was home for nine days, and became extremely dehydrated and had to go back into the hospital for four more days. 

But here I am 18 months later (I TOLD you our stories were similar!) and I feel pretty good.

I sit at a desk all day, so I do still have some abdomen discomfort, and I seem to be fighting some bad reflux problems, but I would have to say I feel so much better than I did two years ago! 

It has not been an easy battle.  I, too, get tired easily, but not so much that I can't do what I want to do.  If I could charge $4.00 a gallon for all the gas I produce, I could retire!!!

But I NEVER considered not having the surgery.  I spent 4 weeks being told I was going to die, and then met my doctor and her first words were "I can take it out!".  I never looked back. 

Each person is different, but as for me, I made the only choice that I could.

I am grateful for every day and hope to live a long time.

Good luck to you! You will do what is right for YOU.

Sue

Today is a new day. Congratulations, you are already a survivor!

Re: Does anyone not choose surgery?

Hi Irene: My husband had a Whipple Surgery almost 3 years ago at the age of 72. We were visiting our children and he jaundiced and we had no time to think about this decision. It was do or die. After 4 hours they aborted  as his pancreas was literally destroyed from dye that had leaked on it from the endoscopy and the doctor needed a healthy pancreas. 3 weeks later he went in with a double ecoli infection and 9 days after that they did the real Whipple. He was in the hospital 2 weeks. We flew home and he developed a tiny  hole at his resection and went to rehab with nothing to eat or drink for a month and the hole healed. So did he. The cancer has returned where his duodenum used to be and he is going to have cyber knife surgery next month. Up to now he has lived a  totally normal life still working and golfing. Teddy does not get on the computer but from him to you he says, "Fear is one's greatest crossroad and that is perfectly normal. Faith in God and the hands of your doctor is what you have to have trust in. Life is a gamble, there are no guarantees. What if you could be one of the lucky ones? Surviving, is wrapped up in a positive attitude. Life is your choice". And with that said, that is our Miracle Man and we look forward to our next victory.

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: Does anyone not choose surgery?

Hey Irene, Charlie had liver resection in 11/07 and tumors came back 3 months later, but he would do it again if he could because it's one of the best chances for survival with cc.  The pre surgery and post surgery life has been good.  Just cherish each day.

Carol

Re: Does anyone not choose surgery?

Hi All:

I appreciate the perspective and again, thanks and good cheer to all of  you.

In my more rational moments I am grateful that I may be one of the lucky few who can have the surgery. It's just that there are the moments when the whole process, its aftermath, and the possible outcome become so overwhelming and painful.

Irene