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After trying various treatments to remedy my acute chronic pancreatitis, (I had stent placements and two puestow's that failed along with many stays in the hospital) I was referred by my team at USC to the University of Minnesota transplant team for a (TP-IAT) Total Pancreatectomy with Islet-Cell Auto Transplantation. USC said there was nothing else they could do and had heard that this treatment was really revolutionary and would help.
After the MN team reviewed my medical records and I met virtually with different doctors on their team, I was approved! Covid19 however, delayed the surgery and insurance caused undue stress by not approving until the last minute. But now it's all scheduled, and I feel as though I'm finally going to be on the road to healing.
So this will be my story. The good, the bad, and the ugly. My road to surgery, and the recovery after.
I fly from LA to Minneapolis on July 22nd, and am all set at the hotel near the hospital. Scott will be driving across country to be with me by 7/26 and surgery is set for Monday July 27th. I have to have someone with me the entire stay (up to two months) so before I go any further, to the many people that are helping us along the way, THANK YOU. I literally couldn't do this without you. You (Scott, Will, Liz & Ed, Taylor, Shari, Nikki, Britt) are truly life safers.
Surgery will start at 7AM and per the surgeon will go anywhere until 5PM, up until 2AM. They will remove my pancreas and send it to a lab in another town to try and get as much islet cell yield as possible. These islet cells are what produce insulin to help try and prevent me from becoming a diabetic, but because my pancreas is in such bad shape, we are not anticipating a very good yield. They also will remove the spleen and the duodenum, and then after redirecting the digestive flow of everything, they will inject whatever islet cells they were able to recover back into by liver (hence, no chance of rejection because they are my own). At that point it's off to the ICU for a few days, and then the transplant floor. Eventually I'll be allowed to head back to my hotel where I'll go between the hotel and hospital / doctor's offices for frequent follow ups.
Please feel welcome to send words of hope and encouragement; they are appreciated.
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