I am currently recovering from a whipple operation (March 15 2013).

I will try to keep this short!

On December 20 2012, I was admitted to hospital with stomach upset, no pain just an uncomfortable feeling. The doc said that I was jaundiced and we hadn’t realised. All tests indicated some kind of liver disorder, with glucose levels high and bilirubin over 100.

My timing could not have been worse, I had to stay in hospital over the xmas period to wait for an ultrasound scan, during this time I got the fundamental blood tests,x-rays, etc and my jaundice went through the roof with a bilirubin count of 200!

Despite all of this I felt fine, and somewhat guilty for occupying a bed that someone else may need.

Anyhow, I got my ultrasound early Jan which indicated sludge in my liver, possible gall stones and a stricture on my common bile duct.

Further tests followed including MRI Scan, 2 CT Scans and the doc recommended an ERCP procedure to fit a stent in the bile duct. The first one of which they failed to place the stent  and required that I had to wait a week for a follow up op. Which thankfully worked.

It seems that I baffled everyone and the docs admitted I was beyond their ken and I was then referred to North Manchester Hospital, to the specialist liver team.

Something inside told me that there was nothing wrong, I felt fine and I always thought I would get a diagnosis of Autoimmune pancreatitis but I didn’t and the specialist said that while I was young and healthy it was better to err on the side of caution rather than represent in a few months and it be too late to do anything.

I was given an uncomfirmed diagnosis of possible cholangiocarcinoma and offered the opportunity for a live saving whipple, which naturally I took and I am blogging my recovery progress here.

I found a lack of this type of information missing and was determined that I would put it out there!

I hope it helps someone.



8 thoughts on “About

  1. I am following this and am rooting for you!
    I lost my dad on 10th march to bile duct cancer after he fought it bravely for 15 months. He wasnt able to have the whipple procedure. They did try to remove the tumour back in march 2012 but were unsuccessful. He did have a reasonably good quality of life up until mid feb this year when he ended up back in hospital when his stent stopped working – he sadly lost his fight after battling bravely.
    Good luck. stay strong and keep positive and enjoy every minute. You are doing a fantastic job in sharing this vital information.
    I wish you all the very best

    • I am so sorry to hear about your Dad, this thing is a terrible disease and there is very little info around.
      Thank you for the support and your very kind words.

  2. Only me again, just read your introduction, similar to me, medical mystery for ages and made to stay in hospital whilst feeling fairly. Well. Feel fine after ercp and stent.
    I’ve never been in hospital or had an operation and can’t quite grasp that there’s anything wrong with me!! Weird.

    I learned drive at 47, did automatic, never looked back, it makes me feel very smug and clever every time I get in the car still!!


    I won’t mither you now, just a relief to hear about you encounter and not have to read all the other thousands of grim comments.

      • My husband, Bob, was diagnosed with PC of the head od thr pancreas. He is borderline resectable. Next Wed he has his 4th round of chemo before having CT on the 16th along with radiation/chemo planning. He has become VERY unsure of the Whipple quality of life afte surgery. He was always very physically active (cutting down trees, chopping wood, ice fishing, hunting, etc). He is considering not having the surgery because he doesn’t want to live his life sitting in a chair. Could you talk to him or just explain what you’re able to do now that you’re thankfully out 2 years from your surgery?

      • Hi, sorry for the delay. I have been camping in the Lake District which goes some way to answering your question.
        I cannot honestly talk about life after whipple with cancer and chemo thrown in for good measure, but I have read about lots of people doing very well and living life to the full.
        He sounds like a physically fit person so that will go in his favour. He needs to ensure that he exercises as much as possible after the operation too.
        I am able to do anything that I could do previously, I just need to keep an eye on my sugar levels because of the diabetes.
        I wish I could tell you that everything will be fine, for some people it can be a battle for others it’s a breeze. All I know is sitting in a chair will not help one iota! Does he really have any alternative?
        If anyone else reading this feels that they can add anything please do.

  3. Dear Neil,

    I cannot tell you how thankful I am for stumbling upon your blog this evening. My mom is due to have her Whipple procedure on Wednesday next week and we’re all really worried as it’s such a hectic op. I’ve honestly been too scared to google anything because I’m afraid of the outcome. So it’s really refreshing to read a positive story about this procedure. I’m really scared for my mom and just hope that she’s going to be ok.

    All the best

    • I am so glad that you found some reassurance, there are a lot of scary stories on the internet. I hope everything goes well for your mum and be patient with her. She is going to need you, even though, mums being mums she will say she is fine. 🙂

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