Now For The Decision

I am home from a wonderful and very enlightening trip to the University of Minnesota Medical Center. I even got a card in the mail yesterday from the OR and recovery nurses wishing me a speedy recovery! Who does that?! In the 10 years I have been in and out of countless hospitals and had many procedures. Not once did I receive a get well soon card from anyone. It was really such a thoughtful thing to do. It makes me feel like I have made the right decision in going out there.
Now I have to decide if I have the cojones to have this surgery done. The main thing that scares me is that right now everything is intact. I have never had an organ or anything removed before. Well scratch that, back in 2002 I had a small neuroma removed from my foot. That was cake cause it wasn't supposed to be there. I know my pancreas it what is causing the pain. Of the 9 criteria they look for on the endoscopic ultrasound, I have 5 changes. My ducts are also extremely narrow. The Pancreatectomy would obviously alleviate the pressure I feel along with the pain in my abdomen. They would also remove my spleen, gallbladder and some of my intestine. In the 500 or so cases they have done the surgeon feels that this is the easiest way to avoid more complications. After surgery I would have 3 tubes that may not be removed for weeks. This is all so frightening for me. The surgeon also explained that I would not feel myself for almost a year. I would also not have the surgery done until after November, when the surgeon I met comes back from his Army Deployment in Germany. Another reason I loved him, besides his incredible bedside manner. He is a Colonel in the US Army reserves as a trauma surgeon.
My husband is on board with whatever decision I make. He has said he is behind me 100% no matter what I decide. I am so incredibly blessed to have found him. He is my angel. He is going to look into taking time off from teaching to be with me in Minnesota for as long as he possibly can.
My mother, of course, will be there with me the entire time. Again I am so lucky to have such a support system behind me.
So not the question is, do I take a risk and prepare for another 18-24 months of pain with the hope of none in the future? Or do I continue in my current state and suffer because it is what I know?
Any thoughts? Ideas? Comments? Feedback? Anything you would like to add. My eyes and ears are open!

Thank you!
Ihatemypancreas Ihatemypancreas
31-35, F
3 Responses May 15, 2012

i will pray for you. i don't know what exactly it is that is wrong, i copied this phrase, "Of the 9 criteria they look for on the endoscopic ultrasound, I have 5 changes.". does that mean cancer??? i apologize for not knowing your story. i am new. i will look for your original story. all of my best wishes and prayers for you. thank God you have family support <3 Mia-Bohème

I have chronic pancreatitis. The changes they saw are consistent with worsening of that condition.

I think ou already know what you'd like to do. All I can say is good luck either way. I only hope for you to feel better.

Thank you!

He said because I am young, in shape and healthy otherwise, I have a good chance of recovering quickly. There's always a chance it doesn't work. Yes there is a chance I end up worse off. i cant picture that<br />
I figure the worst that happens is the Islet cells don't work & I end up a diabetic? With my family history it was bound to happen regardless. I am really leaning on the side of doing it. But I want the surgeon I met, so I will wait until Nov. <br />
I have already emailed questions and have been already received answers! For me, its the first time that a dr has genuinely cared. I'm truly falling in love with this place. <br />
It will be 1 year of recovery, I've had 10 years of suffering. I think I have to at least try. im still waiting for my case to be presented to the committee.