We went to CSA in Nov 2009 and we loved it so much. We booked CSS for Jan 2011, and are very excited. However my dad just died of pancereatic cancer, and they found a cystic lesion on my pancreas. Not cancer right now, but could become cancer, but the only way to get rid of it is through a whipple procedure which is a major surgery. I still have to go see specialists and see what they say. Some say just observe but I am very worried about that because of the family history. I am only 48 years old. I am reaching out to our "Couples" family for your prayers and to see if anyone has any experience with this.
2nd, 3rd, and if you so choose, a 4th Opinion...Never be afraid you'll insult a physician by telling them you're seeking another opinion...any doctor worth his salt won't be offended.. This is your Life that you're talking about and YOU need to be well informed and educated about what's happening and what your options are..Yes, a whipple procedure is major abdominal surgery and there are numerous weeks of recuperation...compile a list of questions that the specialists and surgeon's will and should answer honestly and empathetically..
Below is a link from "The Last Lecture" given by Randy Pausch...a college professor who, himself, battled pancreatic cancer...it is truly inspiring for EVERYONE!!!
Through the Grace of God, my hope is that you'll receive good news...Embrace LIFE and When (not if) you arrive in Jamaica you'll find no greater peace...Keep the faith, know you're in the prayers of many and are in the capable hands of skilled doctors and nurses..AND decide whether you're going to be a Tigger or an Eeyore (you'll get that once you watch the video.)
Some say just observe but I am very worried about that because of the family history. I am only 48 years old. I am reaching out to our "Couples" family for your prayers and to see if anyone has any experience with this.
Don't let worry keep you away. If there is a medical procedure that cannot wait, by all means, put off your trip. If worry over what might be is causing you to reconsider, GO! It will be good for both of you. I am 47 and speak from experience:
We booked our trip to Couples in September of '09. In October I was sent to a cardiologist, who found a leaky aortic valve. I was told that it would need to be replaced in 5-10 years.
In April, a CT scan revealed a mass in the lower lobe of my right lung. On the day that our final payment was due, my wife and I went to the pulmonologist to get the results of the biopsy. I put Bob Marley's Legend CD in, and skipped to track 4 (Three Little Birds - "Don't worry about a thing, 'cause every little thing is going to be alright"). It was not lung cancer, but it was an opportunistic infection brought about by a compromised immune system. I was sent to a hematlogist/oncologist, since lymphoma could be the cause of the compromised immune system.
A month before we left, I had a routine echocardiogram to see how my valve was doing. Three weeks prior to leaving, I had a PET scan to look for a malignancy that could explain the immune system problems.
Two weeks before leaving, I got the results of the echocardiogram. Things had gotten worse, and I would need surgery soon. Unfortunately, it could not be done if I had an active infection, or cancer. My cardiologist told me to go ahead and go to Jamaica. I followed Dr.'s orders!
The week before we left, I got the PET scan results back. No cancer, but I was sent to an immunologist to find out what is going on.
We went to Couples and had the time of our lives. We needed to get away from the stress of everything and recharge. Things are going to be a little rough, but getting away from everything and focussing on each other, and why we chose to spend our lives together has given us both a new determination to get through all of this "stuff".
The week that we got back, I saw the cardiologist, pulmonologist, immunologist and hematologist. I had to get the go ahead from the latter 3 to go through with open heart surgery. Friday I had the angiogram, and was told to wrap things up at work, because I would need surgery in a few weeks.
Our prayers are with you. Be sure to let us know how great your trip was!
Thank you for all the great advice. I saw the specialist today and got the final pathology report. It is benign cysts at this point, but because of the family history they will do MRI / MRCP every 6 months for 2 years and then yearly if all stays the same. If it did change to precancerous, then surgery may be indicated but it would most likely be curative because of them wathcing me so closely. Oh an of course I am getting a second opinion just to make sure. So even though I don't ever want to have to have a whipple, if I know its curative, it kind of makes it easier to deal with. However it may always stay benign. That's what I am praying for. But thank you again for the great advice,and even before today you convinced me I need to go to Couples and not cancel our vacationo more than ever. I am so looking forward to CSS in January. I was always thankful and grateful for each and every day before, and forget about now. Love our couples family.