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sazzle1710
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:34 am

Whipples Procedure at 12 years old.. 13 years later..

Postby sazzle1710 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:30 am

Hi,

I'm Sarah and I'm 26 years old. Thought I would put my story on here to give others inspiration and hope after a Whipple's Procedure and any long term effects that it brought.

At the age of 12, I became Jaundiced and after my GP did blood tests, they found it was not hepatitis A (viral infection) and sent me for an Ultrasound. Within 10 minutes after the scan I was rushed straight to Sheffield Children's Hospital. To cut a long story short, I turned out I had a 3cm tumour on the head of my pancreas. According to my consultant, they had never seen this before in a child so young. After 5 months of tests, biopsy's, scans they decided to remove the Benign tumour as it was increasing in size and growing little tumours on top of where the biopsy was taken.

In Novemeber 1999, I went into surgery for a Whipples Procedure (partial gastric removal), and it took 11 hours in theatre. They removed the Head of the pancreas, duodenum, and half of my stomach and gallbladder and rebuilt my bile ducts.
It was a long recovery, and I had a couple of complications. Two weeks after surgery (I was still in hospital), my stomach would not empty ,and lead to a lot of vomiting, so I continued to have a gastric drain nasally until my stomach worked again. I was fed through a tube too.
When they tried to introduce me back onto solid foods, I developed Pancreatitis. So had Octretide injections to heal the pancreas. After a month, they tried again with food, but I got Pancreatitis again (very painful) two days before Christmas. So was starved again.
Finally in the February 2000, I was aloud home after successfully getting back onto solids with no complications. I was so lucky to not need Chemotherapy.

When I returned home, we realised that I had malabsorption, and within 2 years I lost 4 stone. (I was an overweight child). They tried me on allsorts of supplements, Creon, Pancreatin, but they all made me feel so sick, after eating anything, I would suffer severe nausea and palpitations. It was a long recovery, and I would say it took me 4 years to sort of feel normal?

I did not develop any breasts as it stopped puberty from the shock of surgery, but luckily received a breast augumentation recently on medical grounds.

Its now been 13 years since my Whipple's. I still suffer from Malabsorption, but my weight has stabled to a very healthy 150lbs, which could be from my metabolism slowing down, I can eat large meals as I think my stomach has stretched back and I feel that my body has adjusted to my different digestive tract! I do have Pernicious anaemia, but is treated with injections every 3 months. Luckily I currently do not have diabetes.

I lead a normal life, have a beautiful 3 year old daughter with an normal pregnancy. The diarrhoea can be annoying at times, but I guess I'm used to it, (and its my fault for eating fatty meals!) I'm proud of my 8 inch scar across my tummy, because it saved my life. I'm not sure what the future holds, but live each day as it comes and stay strong. There is hope after a Whipple's. xxxx

louiepc
Posts: 238
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:38 pm

Re: Whipples Procedure at 12 years old.. 13 years later..

Postby louiepc » Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:36 pm

Wow, what a truly inspirational story. I thought that I read the title wrong at first, such a young age. You have been through an horrendous time, and endured countless medical problems, but you are here, living your life. How wonderful.

I hope the future is kind to you, and I hope that your story helps others in this awful situation.

love louie xxx

sazzle1710
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:34 am

Re: Whipples Procedure at 12 years old.. 13 years later..

Postby sazzle1710 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:48 pm

Thank you for your kind comment. For years I've felt isolated as not many people my age have had this surgery, didn't have anyone to talk to, but I just want everyone to know it does get better, don't give up hope. Its a long recovery but with support you can get there xxx

DRAD3
Posts: 435
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:22 am

Re: Whipples Procedure at 12 years old.. 13 years later..

Postby DRAD3 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:36 pm

Thank you SO much for sharing your incredible story! My daughter is 13 and I cannot imagine her having to endure what you endured (in fact I did not know it was possible - PC in someone so young). To now have a daughter of your own and be here, living a full life and to be so positive and above all to reach out and give those on this forum some hope - you are an inspirational young woman - thank you again.
lots of love
Deb
x

dabber66
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:39 am

Re: Whipples Procedure at 12 years old.. 13 years later..

Postby dabber66 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:03 am

Well Sarah, another wow, you are an inspiration to all!! Thanks for sharing your story. Carole x

PCUK Nurse Jeni
Posts: 1070
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 1:30 pm

Re: Whipples Procedure at 12 years old.. 13 years later..

Postby PCUK Nurse Jeni » Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:51 am

Hi Sarah,

Thanks for such an amazing and inspiring story.
This type of tumour is very rare indeed in children - usually known as Pancreatoblastoma.

What a long, difficult recovery for you, but as others have said, at least you are here, and now with your own family! Fantastic. it is a huge operation for anyone to go through, not least a young person, so very well done and congratulations!

Kind regards,

Jeni.

sazzle1710
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:34 am

Re: Whipples Procedure at 12 years old.. 13 years later..

Postby sazzle1710 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:36 pm

It wasn't a Pancreatoblastoma, all I remember it was a long word beginning with an S.. I also was in hospital last year for a kidney tumour which was also benign with enlarged lymph nodes in my abdomen, but the two weren't related. Feel so lucky that neither were malignant, so I count myself very lucky xx

PCUK Nurse Jeni
Posts: 1070
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 1:30 pm

Re: Whipples Procedure at 12 years old.. 13 years later..

Postby PCUK Nurse Jeni » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:08 am

Thanks for clarifying this!

Not sure then what it might have been but not to worry, since it is gone!

Sorry to hear you were in hospital last year also, but again, as you say, glad they were benign.

Mind regards,

Jeni.