Site icon Living Rarely

Celebrating My One Year Whippleversary

My one year what-a-what??

My Whippleversary! The surgery I had to remove my cancer is called a Whipple (we’ll get more into those deets another time). And thus, those who have been “Whipped” celebrate their Whippleversaries.

My surgery took place on June 1, 2021. I was under the knife for almost 8 hours. I was in the hospital for 8 days and it took me approximately 8 months for me to feel human again.

I didn’t realize this photo existed (thanks, Nelson) and was shocked to see it, but it’s a good reminder for me on just how awful of a state I was in and how far I’ve come.

Man, that just brings back so many awful memories.

Anyhoo, shortly before my diagnosis I was sort of half planning a trip to the Grand Canyon. I hadn’t fully presented my trip plans to Nelson, but during COVID (the 2020 portion), I had watched a lot of hiking videos, including some from the Grand Canyon. And I had hiking Bright Angel Trail on my bucket list.

Then, BAM, cancer.

While I was recovering from surgery at Moffitt, my surgeon told me to go ahead and plan that trip and that in about a month I’d be good to go.

Chemo had other plans and my recovery was slow and agonizing. I honestly began to believe I’d never enjoy life, let alone traveling, the same way again. Leaving the house was scary. Stepping out the front door was scary.

Fortunately, with each day, week, and month that passed, I grew stronger and didn’t feel like I needed a nap after sitting up for 30 minutes.

I was feeling more like myself mid-March – getting out a little more, exercising more, and not needing to be right next to a restroom all the time.

Traveling has always been such a big part of our marriage, and I truly enjoy planning trips. So I began doing a little research and before I knew it, I had planned the trip of my 2020 dreams (more to come on our travel hacks too).

I was very nervous the weeks leading up to it. How would I do on the plane? In the car? What if I am overcome with nausea? Will the altitude change affect me? What if something bad happens and I need to go to the hospital?

A couple days before our flight I came down with a fever and had a severe Whipple attack (a stabbing pain in the middle of my upper stomach) that lasted for at least an hour. I was so mad because I didn’t want to cancel our trip! I was absolutely determined to go . . . unless Nelson told me not to.

Thankfully my fever retreated the night before leaving and the pain from the attack subsided. I was a bit woozy the next morning, but I got on that plane! I couldn’t believe it. I was doing it! And I did it!

We flew into Salt Lake City and visited Bryce Canyon National Park, the Grand Canyon, Canyonlands and Arches National Parks, and Sundance Mountain Resort.

I’ll share some more pics and notes in another post, but I have to let you know . .


I figured skydiving had to be much easier than a Whipple surgery, so why not!

For those that may be a little leery about jumping, here are some fun stats:

In the U.S. in 2021, there were only 10 skydiving fatalities among 3.57 million jumps. There are about 93 fatal car accidents every day in the U.S.

You are 50 times more likely to choke on your food than to die in a skydiving accident.

Death from tripping over a rug in your house is 1,300 times more likely.

If you tandem dive, your odds of dying are almost nil.

That may not mean much from the girl with the rare cancer though!

Exit mobile version