Jul 122016

So a year and a half ago my world was turned upside down. My dad had been sick for a week or so and after not eating for a week he decided he would go to the doctor. Our family doctor thought it was an ulcer. So he went for a cat scan and started some medicine. That Friday afternoon I got the news that they saw something on his pancreas. A tumor of some kind. They scheduled him for another test on the following Monday.

Monday comes, he gets the second scan and we wait. The results put our family into shock. A cancerous tumor on the head of his pancreas. It was pushing on everything and was causing lots of problems.

The next week we had an appointment with a specialist who said that yes it looks like cancer and we need to do a Whipple procedure….. A what????? I have been in the radiology field taking x-rays and an EMT and had never heard of this…..

brandi whipple

In quick and generic terms. They would remove the gallbladder, the head of the pancreas where the tumor was located, attache the small bowl the the pancreas, and re route the stomach some. Basically re route the digestion plumbing. We were scheduled for the following week. So in 3 weeks time we went from an ulcer to a major surgery they put as being worse than an open heart procedure.

Being an only daughter this scared the hell out of me. Luckily my aunt and uncle cut vacation short and rushed home to be with us.

Surgery day…. All went well. Matter of fact dad did not even have to go to ICU as first predicted. We learned his liver was kind of yucky but not complete cirrhosis as of yet. So besides being sore and a little out of it from the morphine we were doing ok. Until day 3…… He started acting funny. Then his heart rate went out of wack. He was stuck at a heart rate of 177 in SVT. Basically NOT GOOD. After doing this twice they decided they needed a cat scan to rule out a blood clot. Out came the mean dad from being on the morphine. Moms in tears. He is yelling. I kicked mom out and I insert my foot up his butt. I get him to calm down, agree to the procedure, the nurse hires me 😉 and I leave the room. I walk down the hall and around the corner and loose it. I call my husband a mess…

This was my view for the next week. ICU…. Dad had gotten a blood clot in his lungs. But while in the ICU we got the most amazing news. IT IS NOT CANCER!!!!!!!!!! It is a cystic fibrotic mass.

brandi dad

The strongest person I know now fighting for everything. 18 days after we were admitted we went home. And since then we have been in and out for malnutrition. After arguing and fighting with doctors telling them he needed the pancreatic enzyme supplement pills we finally got a doctor to listen and he agreed that he needed them. My once 160 pound dad reduced to 93 pounds….

We still have ups and downs. Appetite and no appetite. Food taste great or taste like crap. And now this past week he has had severe pain in his belly, again. Another cat scan and found enteritis in his small bowel….. Our doctor tells us, “I don’t know what to do with you, go see another doctor”…………………… I’m sorry, what?!?!?!?!

So now I am on the hunt for a new family doctor for my dad as we try and treat this infection in his belly. I am very curious if any other Masshole members out there have been through anything like this…. Granted this is a condensed version of what everything, but I would love to connect with others who have been through this before.

brandi purple

About Brandi Christian

Stay at home mom, Stepmom and Girl Scout Leader with a passion for a healthy lifestyle.

  99 Responses to “Thoughts From Brandi: My Dad’s Surgery”

  1. I am so sorry to read about Brandi’s Dad’s illness. That must have been a huge relief when you were told it was not cancerous. There seems to be a tough road ahead. Saying a prayer for her Dad’s recovery.

    • Thank you. We have our ups and downs but I can say its brought is a lot closer that’s for sure.

  2. That sounds like an absolutely terrible ordeal! And I cannot believe that your doctor is sending you away. In the end I would look at it as a positive thing because of that doctor was not giving his 100% to your dad you should find a new one anyway. Maybe the next will be able to help you a whole lot more than the first doctor.

    • I sure hoping so. I have some new o es in mind for hi . Have to go through the insurance game and acceptance at the new offices . I am the only child so only me to defend him. Makes it a little tuffer.

  3. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014 and I know exactly how stressful the whole procedures are. It was quite an ordeal. I sincerely hope your Dad is in good hands and keep the spirit up..Bon courage..

  4. I’m so sorry to hear that you and your family are going through a hard time right now. My thoughts and prayers are with your dad. I can’t believe his doctor said to get another doctor! What an outrage!

  5. Oh my goodness, what a time. I have never experienced this exact type of thing, but can provide words of encouragement. My mom recently underwent a problem with being able to eat (it’s been going on for at least 2 years) and finally got an endoscopy. The doctor performing it reached a point she couldn’t go any further into the stomach during the endoscopy, but wasn’t willing to do anything further because she didn’t find anything wrong. Well, this didn’t help my mom, obviously. So she went for a second opinion and had a second endoscopy done. This time the new doctor pushed through the obstruction and found she had an ulcer causing a 95% blockage, causing her not to be able to eat. After a few bites the food would build up in the pipeline until she felt like it was stuck in her throat because it was. After this second endoscopy she was rushed to surgery because the ulcer had abrupted and was causing many more problems. I guess what I’m trying to get at here is that sometimes certain doctors are afraid to do what others are willing to do. The first doctor was pretty much afraid to push through during the endoscopy, which is what my mom needed to be done so that we could figure out exactly what was wrong. Luckily, she found the second doctor who did it. Even though it’s very frustrating to have to find a new doctor, it may be for the better. Stick in there and I’ll definitely keep your dad in my thoughts.

    • Oh my yes it is so frustrating when a Dr is hesitant when we need help. I hope your mom is doing well now.

  6. What an ordeal! I am sorry your dad has to go through all of this. Having doctor’s not listen has got to be the worst part. I’ve been through more than I care to count, but thankfully, have finally found one that is getting me on the path to wellness. Hang in there!

  7. This sounds a lot like what my mom had… which was eventually diagnosed as Pancreatitis. She also had a cyst and they eventually went in a drained it. Unfortunately they didn’t catch/diagnose her soon enough and some damage had been done. When she was first diagnosed she spent 10 months in the hospital… Hope y’all figure it out soon!

  8. Oh wow, I am thinking of you. I can’t imagine any surgery for my parents it would be super difficult to handle I am sure.

  9. What a scary ordeal to go thru with your parent!! I am glad you were able to be there for him and your mom when they needed you. Great news it wasn’t cancer as well!

  10. My dad had cancer a few years ago and lots of surgeries. Its so hard to see a parent in pain.

  11. Heavens–what doctors and hospitals can do to a person in a very short period of time. I know I haven’t been the same since those three hospitalizations. You are doing the right thing–you have to be your own or your parents advocate. I sincerely hope he gets back to where you recognize him as the person he was.

  12. I am so sorry you are going through this! My mom went through some similar problems but hers was cancer related, from the very beginning. Hope you figure out what is going on and find a way to treat it FAST!

  13. I am sorry that your family has to go through this – how stressful! I can’t even begin to imagine. You are such a strong person for being able to talk about it and educate others… bravo!

  14. I’m so sorry that you guys are going through this. I hope that you get some answers. I also hope that you’re able to find a good doctor that can figure out what’s wrong.

  15. I can’t even begin to imagine how you felt going through this! Cancer is terrifying so I am very glad to hear that is not what he has.

  16. I can’t even imagine. Thoughts with everyone as they go through this.

  17. Sorry to hear about your dad. I can’t imagine how it feels to be going thru something like this. Prayers go out to your father and family during this difficult time.

  18. Sorry to hear that your dad’s been sick. I hope you find a good doctor who can help and some people in the community who have been in similar situations <3

  19. Wow, very inspiring! What an awesome daughter you are as a cheerleader and support! Anybody who doesn’t know the benifits of support system are missing the point of life!

  20. It must have been so difficult to see your father like this. I’m so glad that it wasn’t cancer and that he is on the road to recovery.

  21. Oh my word! I have no advice other than research his condition and talk with the Pancreatic Cancer Foundation. They may have answers and advice. My thoughts are with you and your father and sending well wishes.

  22. That looks scary, I’m sorry your dad and the rets of your family had to go through that. I hope that he has a speedy recovery. Thank you for sharing this story.

  23. This is so scary and sad! This must be so hard to be going through! I hope his recovery goes well.

  24. oh man. sending prayers your wait. I know this is scary time but God has you and your family.

  25. This is amazing news!!! I am so happy for him! God is definitely watching over him.

  26. wow, first of all I’m sorry to hear about your troubles. I’m shocked that they did anything with the pancreas without biopsying it first. The Pancreas is such a fickle organ. Keeping my fingers crossed for your dad.

  27. Ughhh how scary!!!! So sad your dad had to go through this :-/

  28. Aww, this is so sad, I truly hope you cant get to the bottom of his troubles. We live in Mass too but our doctors are not that great so I honestly cannot even recommend my PCP.

  29. I’m so sorry! I will be praying for your family.

  30. Oh dear I’m sorry to read about this.. I hope your dad recovers completely soon Brandi!

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

  31. That’s crazy that he lost so much weight. I’m sorry he’s still not feeling well. Hugs!

  32. I am so sorry to hear you are going through this. Happy to heart there is no cancer.

  33. Wow, that is a lot for sure. Sorry your family has to deal with all of this.

    I’m not experienced in this area but I would seek out a specialist if possible. Maybe call the local hospital and see if they can suggest someone.

    I hope it all works out. Sending good vibes.

  34. Saying prayers for you guys. I hope you find a good doctor!

  35. Oh my gosh, I hope everything turns out okay! I’ve never even heard of anything like that!

  36. I’m so sorry to hear about the cancer diagnosis. I’ve never heard of a Whipple procedure before. Whatever happens in the future, I hope everything works out well.

  37. I have never had to deal with this. My dad has major medical problems and my mom deals with it all. I never hear about it until afterwards

  38. It sounds like you have all been through a tough time, I’m so sorry. Maybe a GI specialist would be the best route for your dad. Your PMD should have referred you!

  39. Wow, it sounds like your dad and your family has been through a lot. I hope you find a new doctor who can help your dad with the enteritis. My dad had some complicated health issues and it was hard to find a doctor who would listen.

  40. Oh, my God! What an ordeal! I’m so sorry to learn everything your dad and your family have been through. But at least on the positive side, it’s great news it’s not cancer, as pancreatic cancer can be devastating. Stay positive and confident! Hopefully things will get better soon!

  41. I’m so sorry, my prayers goes to your father soon recovery, please be strong!

  42. Sending good vibes your way. I know how hard it can be to deal with a sick family member, especially when it is your parent. Hope you find a new doctor.

  43. My God! I’m so sorry for you and your family. You have to be strong! He will recover really soon. I hope that!!

  44. Wow what a scary experience. *hug* I hope and your dad is ok. xx

  45. I cannot imagine how scary that had to be for your Dad and the rest of the family. I worked as a nurse for over 10 years, and it still never gets any easier. So glad it wasn’t cancer!

  46. Oh gosh I am so sorry to hear about your Dad’s illness Brandi – I do hope the opp helps him in the long term. x

  47. Oh wow I’m so sorry to hear this! I hope the op helps him and I’m so glad it wasn’t cancer! Thoughts your way!

  48. I am so sorry to hear about your dad’s health. I went through an illness with my dad, unfortunately he passed. Just love your dad everyday, it sucks not to have him around. Prayers for you and your family.

  49. I am so sorry you are having to deal with all this. I don’t have any advice. I wish your father and your family good thoughts and prayers to lead you to the answers.

  50. I am so sorry to hear about this struggle. My dad has Graves disease, so I understand the emotions tie into having a parent with an ongoing illness. I will be keeping your father in my thoughts.

  51. I’m so sorry you had to deal with this. It’s great that the mass was not cancerous! Having a relative in the ICU can really be devastating for the whole family. I’ve been through a few scares with my own parents.

  52. I am praying for you and your family. I know exactly how this feels as my son got sick last august and had to have surgery in February. Stay strong!

  53. Fortunately you are located near quite a lot of great hospitals. It sounds like he is starting to have better days and I’ll be thinking about your family.

  54. So sorry for what your Dad and your family is going through. I’ve never been through anything like that so I can’t imagine my my thoughts are with you. So glad you are still looking for answers.

  55. It’s heartbreaking to see such a strong man go through something like this. I’m sorry your dad had to experience this and I hope things get better soon! Keep the faith and let’s hope you find a great doctor!

  56. I am really hoping for a successful outcome for your dad’s well-being. I know how it feels like to look at your father and lose yourself like you’ve given up on all the good things still happening around you but I feel that it’s the best for you guys at the moment. I hope you guys get a new and better doctor.

  57. I am so terribly sorry that your Dad and family is going through this crisis. I have no wisdom about any of it but I’ll definitely pray for all of you. (((HUGS)))

  58. I’m sorry to hear about your dad. I’m glad that it wasn’t cancer though. Hope he feels better soon.

  59. I am so glad that it wasn’t cancer! I hope that things get better. You are in my thoughts!

  60. I hope things get better each day. Sending thoughts and prayers. It sounds like baby steps are best.

  61. Thinking of you during this trying time. Sending hugs!

  62. Oh wow, I’m so sorry that you are all going through this. I hope you guys are able to get this under control as soon as possible!

  63. My husband encountered doctors who disagreed with diagnosis and treatment. His favorite explanation was “they say doctors practice medicine because it’s hard to get it right.” I am sorry things are so upsetting for all of you and hope they find the answer soon.

  64. Trying to pinpoint a cause of an illness can be a long drawn out process. I wish the best for you and your family, Brandi.

  65. I am so sorry that your family had to go through this. My thoughts and prayers are with your family. Hope you can find the best doctor for your dad.

  66. I can’t take it when my parents are the ones suffering through a health issue especially at their age. I am used to seeing them energetic and strong and it breaks my heart when they go through a tough ordeal. I can only imagine the worry that you’re feeling right now. I hope things will get better!

    • That is one of the hardest things. I am having to do everything for him when it use to be the other way around. He is so frail now and it is so hard for him to do anything

  67. Sending you virtual hugs from across the seas. I wish you dad a speedy recovery. I lost my dad two years ago so I’m kinda sensitive when it comes to stories like this. 🙁

  68. I’m so sorry that you have to go through this. Illness is so hard to cope with and having a support system is so important. Prayers!

  69. I’m really sorry for your dad but really glad also because it’s not a cancer. Cancer is a traitor illness. Our prayers is with him!

  70. Thank you for all the ind words and prayers. As for the doctor that basically turned us away it was is primary doctor here in town. We do have a specialist in another town. 2 hours away…. But he has fixed his part that he needed. I have 2 doctors in the works for dad to go to. Problem is he is stubborn and says he is done with doctors. So know I have to get him to go

  71. Wow that’s really tough Brandi! I’ve had an aunt go through three long years of cancer and the ups and downs of the news was so hard… I can’t imagine it being your own dad. Glad it’s not cancer, but hope you find a good doctor soon! 😉

  72. Saying a prayer for your dad and for you and your entire family Brandi. I am so happy it is not cancer. I know it can be rough for the entire family and I pray you find a doctor to care for your dad moving forward.

  73. Oh my goodness, my thoughts are with your family. We had a really bad situation a couple of years ago when my mom had a hip replacement and almost died. Then a second bad situation about a year ago when her primary care doctor misdiagnosed a stroke. Needless to say, we are still on the hunt for a new physician for her. Doctors can be amazing … they can also be a complete mess.

  74. I am so sorry to hear of your father Brandi. I only know how part of this story feels losing my gallbladder in my 20s, making me the youngest patient my Dr ever had. I went through a lot of the same issues. Mine was not cancer related though. I hope you get a new Dr that is amazing and helps.

  75. Wow, I am so sorry you and your family are going through this.
    Your dad certainly sounds like a strong man!

  76. You dad sounds like an amazing strong man. Your father and your entire family will be in my thoughts! xoxo

  77. I love how your father is fighting out with this. He is such a strong man, I hope all turns well.

  78. I haven’t heard of it. But the dr. telling you to find someone else to help your dad could end up being a very great thing. wishing you so much luck!

  79. Oh, this is sad. I remember my grandpa when he was in the ICU. I hope your dad will get well sooner.

  80. I am not familiar with this kind of procedure. I will share this with my friends so they will also know about it. Your dad is such a strong person!

  81. Caring for a parent can be a challenge. I’m going through something similar with my mom, who was diagnosed with cancer back in Sept. It’s so hard watching her go through this and also making sure she and my dad are taking care of each other. Wishing you and your dad better days ahead.

  82. I wish I had some amazing advice to share or the name of a miracle doctor. It’s crazy what modern medicine can do these days.

  83. It’s so hard going through these complicated procedures, never knowing if the pain and weight loss are part of the process or of concern. I hope you find an amazing doctor that will fix your dad right up!

  84. I am so sorry to hear about your dad’s illness. I hope you can find the right doctor to help your dad. Send prayers

  85. Sorry to hear about your dad. We will include him in our prayers and I hope you find that doctor who would be there to care for him. Good luck and God bless.

  86. What a difficult ordeal to have to go through with your father. I hope you get the answers you need from a new doc soon!

  87. I am so sorry to hear about your day going through this, Brandi. My mom is the strongest person I know and to see her at weak points is so hard. I hope that you find a doctor that can give you some answers.

  88. I am so sorry you and your family is going through this. I am happy to hear its not cancer but know its hard to still see him in pain. I wish you will and hope for a solution for him! Sending positive energy to your family.

  89. I can relate with you on how scary it could be when we come across such health issues our loved ones in a of a sudden. I love how you are dedicated to find a better doctor & help him the best way you can.

  90. ah the whipple procedure, reminds me of my days watching Greys Anatomy TV show. What?! I can’t believe the doctor would say that! how did you not sock him square in the jaw right then and there? my gran had a seriously arrogant and abrasive doctor during her cancer treatment.

    I’m so sorry to hear about your dad, I hope he gets well soon and no more hospital nightmares.

  91. I’ve never heard of the Whipple procedure, either. Medical issues of any kind are so stressful. I am glad the tumor was caught early enough that it was operable. I hope you do find the perfect doctor for him!

  92. When a family member goes into surgery it’s a very stressful phase to experience. Encouragement and positive atmosphere to all and speedy recovery.

  93. While it’s good they found out what was wrong with him, it’s frustrating too! I hope he continues to get better! It’s not fun to deal with all that. Poor guy!