Countdown to TPIAT!

The Place!

January 21 is the day! The day that I have been completely dreading and hoping for. So… What is going on? I am having a Total Pancreatectomy with Islet Autotransplantation ⇢ so what do all those big words mean?

Total (all of it) ➺ Pancreatectomy (bye, bye pancreas, spleen, & gall bladder) ➺ Islet (what makes me make insulin) ➺ Autotransplantation (taking my OWN {auto} and transplant it into my liver so that the islet cells have a place to make insulin) known as TPIAT for short

This is not a little surgery, and it is a life changing surgery. I will become a diabetic immediately after surgery (with a possibly of becoming insulin independent over time…aka not being a diabetic). In reality, I am trading one set of problems for another set health problems. However, the debilitating , constant pain will eventually go away {hopefully}, so my doctors and I believe this is the right step for me in getting my life back! This does not mean it is going to be easy. This surgery is going to be very hard. Everything I have read about prior patients who have this surgery proves it is tough the first few months. Everyone said that they questioned why they had the surgery because the recovery is rough. All that said by far the majority of the people that have had the surgery say it was worth it to lose the pain and they would do it again. I am losing three organs. I will be put in the ICU afterword for several days which is something I have never done before. It is hard for me to wrap my mind around, but I know I can live through three very hard months to be able exercise and hike again. I am excited about the opportunity to fully experience life again!

“Your word is a lamp for my feet,

    a light on my path.”

Psalm 119:105

I will not lie. This is scary to me. There are a lot of complications can come with diabetes. However, this surgery gives me hope. I felt so hopeless for so long, and God created a light for me with this surgery. I will not lie, I have been angry about my situation. I am frustrated that time after time that I am the sick girl. Even with all this going on I see hope everyday. Just today, a Chaplin came into the hospital when I was having a little come apart. It was a God sign. He came in and was an uplifting spirit. It was nice to talk to someone besides a nurse and a doctor. I got to be person not a patient which was something I desperately needed (and the Lord thought I needed it). I will be going to Medical University of South Carolina to get this operation done. We will be in Charleston for over 2 months. It is a beautiful area that will be nice place to recover after I am out of the hospital. Stick with me, and I will go into more detail about the surgery.

23 thoughts on “Countdown to TPIAT!

  1. You are in our prayers, Rachel, and they will continue.
    We will be following you on this journey and anxious to hear every step toward healing.
    Love to you and all the Kaisers.


  2. Rachel, may God be with you and your medical team throughout this entire ordeal! You are a brave young warrior and God will see you through! Our prayer team at Dawson prays for you and will continue to lift you in prayer. Love and blessings, Virginia Greene


  3. Thank you for sharing this. Valerie has told me a little. You are so strong. Praying for you, and your family. I look forward to reading more.


  4. Rachel, I had no idea you were going through this. I hope you know that we are all praying for you and for your swift recovery.

    The Manush family
    Stan, Katherine and Andrew


  5. I’ll be praying for you! Thank you for sharing what you’re going through. I know it’s not going to be easy but I’m thankful you have this opportunity.
    Donna Vaughn


  6. You are a brave young lady and as we have done, we will continue to pray and lift you up to our Savior and Lord as He knows exactly 💯 what Hope is and what it means.


  7. Dear Rachel, You are in our thoughts on these days leading to the day of your surgery. We are praying your body will be strong. We are praying for your medical team to be at their very best. We pray your surgery will be so successful it is written up in medical journals. Our prayers will continue until your body has transitioned & you have healed. Our prayers are with your very special family as they love & care for you. Your dear grandmother Ann has been a friend since we were in 4th grade. Love, Carolyne & Ralph Bowles


  8. Rachel,
    The McWaters are praying for you as you walk through this journey! You are very brave & we’re praying you feel God’s strength & presence in the days ahead!


  9. Hey Rachel! You are in our thoughts and prayers daily! Please know we are pulling for you! I know you will fight back as hard as I would see you on the basketball court at church back in the day! Praying for strength and peace for you. Ps. 29:11 “The Lord gives strength to His people, The Lord blesses His people with Peace.” – Love, The Gibsons


  10. Rachel, Thank you for sharing. I just reread the available posts as I prayed for you and your Mom and Dad as you prepare. I was one of your first Sunday School teachers and you actually stayed in our class after you were promoted because you were happy there!

    Bonnie, our daughter was one of your babysitters when you were little, too.

    You have grown into a wonderful young lady!

    Charleston is a great place to be. I spent lots of time on James Island with friends from college who grew up there. I hope you’ll be able to enjoy it a bit as it is your home away from home for a few months while you recover.

    We’ll be praying!

    Debbie Wootan


  11. Rachel, you are healed. God has taken care of already. Praise prayers continue.

    Lisa Greer
    VHHS Bookkeeper and Mama of Will (VHHS ’15)


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