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Hi there! I have been reading this thread for what seems like forever leading up to my surgery.  I had suffered from chronic pancreatitis for 15 years, but really got bad for the past 5 years.  I'm 44 years old and a wife and mother of two amazing kids 15yrs and 14yrs). I live in Ontario Canada.  I had been told that there was no cure for me, just pain management.  I haven't worked in almost 4 years. But lucky for me, my incredible husband would not give up on me and kept searching for an answer.  He eventually found Dr. James Shapiro in Edmonton, Alberta who performs the procedure "total pancreatectomy with auto islet cell transplant ". It is the only place in Canada that does the procedure.  So I ended up traveling to Edmonton with my husband for the surgery, which took place on April 19th. It was probably the hardest thing I have ever been through. The surgery went well, but they had a great deal of difficulty controlling my pain in the days after surgery.  It was horrible. But after about the third day things started to improve.  I was in the hospital for 9 days and then discharged. I had to stay in Edmonton for 5 weeks until I was cleared to fly home. The auto islet cell transplant was a success, I never needed any insulin at all and am still insulin independent. I have no pain at all now...just the odd surgical pain which isn't bad.  I'm almost done weaning myself off of the pain meds, I have been totally off of the hydromorph contin for a month and I'm almost done with the oxycodone too.  It's been incredibly difficult to get off of the opiates, it has made me very sick. But I know that it's temporary, it will pass...I just have to be strong.  My weight is finally steady, I went down to 104lbs after surgery but I'm up to 112lbs and seems to be holding there.  It was really hard to eat at first but now I'm constantly eating! I don't seem to have any dietary restrictions, I just eat what my body craves. I'm still struggling with fatigue and sleeping, but I'm sure that will come in time. But I feel like I am getting my life back, my kids are getting their mom back and my hubby gets his wife back.  I'm forever grateful for Dr. Shapiro, he handed me my life back.  I can never thank him enough. I'm sure that I will still have some obstacles in my continued recovery but life is so much better than I ever imagined.  If anyone wants to contact me, please feel free!  I'd love to pay it forward! 

Simone Thomas   

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Hi Simone,

Im happy to hear this surgery worked for you. Hopefully it will be my answer too :). I am also awaiting to see if I am a candidate for the procedure. I will soon fly to alberta so that Dr Shapiro can confirm my diagnosis. Did you have to have your doctors from Ontario sign to allow you to be covered by OHIP before you get the procedure in alberta? I am in a massive amount of pain and I am scared I will have to fly back home to get the procedure approved by doctors in my province.
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