Welcome! This is my journey through my Total Pancreatectomy and Islet Auto-Transplant (TP-IAT) Process. Thank you for visiting and reading my story.

Pancreas Eviction

At 11:05amCDT/12:05EDT 8-31-18 the Pancreas was Evicted! And, at 5:00pmCDT/6pmEDT the surgery was completed.

To all those who have prayed and followed Susan’s journey, her goal of becoming free of chronic Pancreatitis and one day to hopefully be pain free is one step closer. Her surgery is over and the long road to recovery begins. We have had good news which we hope will make the recovery process a little bit easier for Sue, but she still has a long road to go, a serious time ahead as she as hurdles still to leap and a difficult healing process to go. Please keep up the prayers because so far God is listening. Thank you everyone.

Susan’s TP-IAT was the 737th Completed at the University of Minnesota Health


To see the blog or the latest news, click on the "My Journey Blog" option on the menu or click the green button below.

About Me

I have been affected by pancreatitis since 2002.  As most of you know, back in 2012 the doctors felt that I had pre-cancer of the pancreas and I had to have The “Whipple Procedure” Surgery.  As a result of that surgery, I’m in the hospital every 4 months or so and have a poor quality of life with constant pain of some degree.  My future does not show much hope for improvement.
I have been given a second chance at life with the opportunity of having a surgery called a Total Pancreatectomy and Islet Auto-Transplant (TP-IAT) at the University of Minnesota.  It will involve removing the rest of my pancreas, my spleen and more of my small intestine.  They will then remove the Islet of Langerhans cells from the pancreas which control the body’s insulin and other essential hormones, then transplant them into my liver through the portal vein. This surgery normally takes about 10 to 12 hours, but since I have had the Whipple Procedure my surgery is expected to take about 7 to 8 hours. The recovery period will be 2 days in ICU and 7 to 12 days in the hospital. Following that, I will need to stay near the hospital for 5  to 6 weeks while they make sure everything is progressing as expected. I will be a diabetic until the newly transplanted Islet cells begin to function and produce insulin as they did when they were in my pancreas, with hope this will take 4 to 6 months. All this is being done by the world’s leading doctors at the University of Minnesota Medical College and Hospital.  They are the ones that pioneered this surgery. This is all still fairly new but has been successfully performed in over 300 Whipple patients.  I was selected in early July and my Surgery is scheduled for August 31st. My future now looks hopeful.  I still need lots of things to go smoothly and most of all good wishes and PRAYERS. Thank you.

The Latest

Thank You, Links and Acknowledgements

Thank you – Links – Acknowledgments

I have many people to thank, places I’d like you to see and people to acknowledge. These are some of the people and places I’d like you to know. Everyone is important to me. I would also like to acknowledge everyone who has helped me in some way, whether it be trips to Minnesota, donations or prayers. Thank you.

Dr Greg Beilman MD Explaining the TP-IAT (About 4 Minutes)

Dr. Greg Beilman

UMN Dr. Beilman

Dr. Beilman performed the TP-IAT surgery on me at the end of August 2018.  I am happy to recommend him to anyone considering this procedure and through his office I will talk to you and relate my experience about the TP-IAT, Dr. Beilman and the UMN hospital. I cannot speak highly enough of Dr. Beilman AND his team, and all the nurses and staff who were there as I went through my TP-IAT procedure. To learn more about Dr. Beilman click the green button above.     Sue

For an AIRBNB in Minneapolis


Click this button and it will take you to a web page where you can search for an AIRBNB in the Minneapolis area. We would put the one we stayed at but the availability of that one is we cannot say what its availability is. Look for it on Mounds View.

A visit by Our Pastor

I would like to extend a special thank you to Father David Scotchie, our pastor at Most Precious Blood Catholic Church. Father David came to visit with Joe and I on Monday August 13th. We had dinner and a really good time. It was such a great opportunity to get to know Father David on a more personal note.  He is not only a remarkable person at church but he is a very kind a thoughtful person away from the parish as well. Father David also blessed me with the Anointing Of The Sick in preparation for my surgery. His thoughtfulness and kindness has given me much comfort and I know that God is with me and will be there in my time of need. Thank you Father David.

A visit by my Parochial Vicar

I had a surprise visit at Winter Park Hospital by Father George Nursey our parochial vicar at Most Precious Blood Catholic Church. He gave me Anointing of the Sick for my Illness related to my flare-up of pancreatitis, Holy Communion and we had a really nice and personal short visit. I really appreciated him taking the time to come and see me, he really brightened my day.  We also had a chance to talk a little bit about my upcoming surgery in Minnesota and he was so caring and thoughtful and offered to keep me in his prayers. It was such a pleasure to have an opportunity to get to have a chance to know Father George on a more personal level. Thank you, Father George.

For Those Who Want To Help.

Many people are very moved by my difficulties and health problems and are always asking how they can help. They want to do something. Just the thoughts and offers go a long way to comfort  and support me. I deeply appreciate everyone’s kindness, and offers to help. While we are still dealing with medical bills we are learning how blessed we are as we find ways to make things work out, mostly through insurance. Something I can use, I still need prayers. If you do want to help, please reach out to me and let me know what you have in mind. Thank you.