Lola, my daughter was a junior in college 31/2 hours away when I was diagnosed, not only did we insist she go back to school, so did my doctor .  I know it was difficult for her but it was the best decision  at the time. She is an amazing child, she always made sure on chemo day there was some gift for me, a book, mixed tape..... I was a transplant candidate and during my wait for the call we even made her go on spring break, of course she went with a Southwest voucher to get home quickly if the call came!
When things went real bad for me and was on life support, she called our priest twice to give me last rites and when things got better and I was able to go home, she did take a semester off. I came home in  a whee lchair, drains, feeding tube.... and there was no way she was going back for the semester. That semester  was the semester she was suppose to study abroad too.
I am excited to tell you she graduated a semester late.
There is no yes/no answer, I really believe you will know when the time is right to take a break and for how long.
Lots of prayers for healing, comfort and peace.
Cathy

Hi you can email me with the email link or email me at jrdunnagan@gmail.com or FB me Catherine Sims Dunnagan  or call me 618-567-3247. If you want to call you might wait a day or 2 have bronchitis and can't talk much.
Can't wait to talk.
Lots of prayers-Cathy

Liverma88, I am a 51/2 year CC survivor thanks to transplants. I am confused about your post or even more thankfull for my medical team, because I always kept aware of where I was on the list.  My MELD score was constantly watched and raised, I started at 26 and was transplanted at 34 in a 5month period and Dr. Chapman thought that was to long. If you would love to talk or if I can help please feel free to contact me.
Lots of prayers-Cathy

Congrats, Julie keep posting good news and inspiring others!!
Lots of prayers for continued good health!
Cathy

5

(12 replies, posted in Introductions!)

Fred, Welcome and sorry you had to find us. I am excited to tell you I am 51/2 years cancer free.
I have an amazing story to share and keep it posted www.catherinedunnagan.com There is HOPE!
I noticed you are in Texas so hopefully you are being treated at MDAnderson with Dr. Javle. Dr. Javle has many success stories on this forum. My "HERO" is Dr. William Chapman at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis MO. I share my story to give HOPE but also to honor my donors and put Dr. Chapman's name out there, he is an amazing doctor and and even more amazing man. Dr. Chapman has been able to change at least 4 members of our CC family from inoperable to operable. I suggest when you are ready for another set of eyes on your son's choices, he be at the top of your list.
Please feel free to contact me if I can help.
Lots of prayers-Cathy

6

(9 replies, posted in Members' Cafe)

Welcome and sorry you had to find us. I am a 5 year cancer free CC survivor. I was 52 when diagnosed and given 6-8 months to live.  I was not a candidate for any thing except the very controversable  transplant trial. My first miracle was being diagnosed immediately by a doctor very versed in CC and him putting me in the care of Dr. William Chapman at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis MO. I could fill pages about the kindness, heart, surgical skills and knowledge about Dr. Chapman, the best way I explain it is to say he is the person you want your children to grow up to be like! I keep my story at www.catherinedunnagan.com There is HOPE!
I just want to add that only you and your family know which is the best option for you and CC, but since it is so rare you really need second and third opinions to get all the right information to help you make the best decision, you deserve it. To be deemed unresectable by one doctor is very common but another doctor might see things different.  I of course always recommend my hero because he has been able to change the diagnose of some, and of course there has been several he couldn't.
Please contact me if I can help.
Prayers for peace, healing and comfort-Cathy

7

(12 replies, posted in Good News / What's Working)

Nancy, Congrats to one 5 yearer from another 5 yearer!!  We need a new category on this site for 5 plus CC members!! Your news is so  exciting because you are battling one of the hardest forms of CC!
Keep inspiring and giving HOPE!!!
Cathy

8

(4 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Julie, I post my story on every wall, page... not because I want to talk about me, but because I had a miracle surgeon!! Dr. William Chapman is beyond words,!! I am excited to say he has changed at least four of our CC's family diagnose from inoperable/pallative/hospice to operable! For me that is exciting because my donors saving my life with the gift of life, just added at least 4 more lives to there gift of one liver!!!
I have never seen Dr. Lombardo's name on here, but 6 years ago no one really knew who Dr. Chapman was or where Barnes was (Barnes is usually in top10 hopsitals!).!! Dr, Chapman and I have always talked about the fact transplants and resections need to be ruled out by doctors who believe it is an option for our cancer, way to many think it isn't!!
Thanks for putting a new name for HOPE out there!!
Cathy

9

(7 replies, posted in Introductions!)

Joe, I can best answer your question by telling you about 4 CC members, who were diagnosed at major cancer centers and given a "no hope" prognosis and thanks to our site and being able to share my story they came to see my "HERO" and had there prognosis changed and were deemed operable, 3 had resections and one had a transplant. (Mayo Clinic told him he wasn't able to be transplanted).
Our cancer is so rare, and most doctors haven't heard of it and don't realize there is cutting edge research being done. It is so important to have a doctor who is at the top of his game in CC,. a GREAT oncologist will be that or a GREAT oncologist will know this is out of there league and find you that GREAT oncologist and team of doctors!!
Lots of prayers for HOPE-Cathy

10

(7 replies, posted in Introductions!)

Joe, Welcome and sorry you had to find us! I am excited to be the first to reply, because I am a CC survivor, 5 years cancer free, there is HOPE!!! First take comfort in the fact your doctor was so knowledgeable to not accept  a negative report, CC often comes back negative  and a less educated doctor would have accepted it!.
The next step after talking to your doctors, is think about getting a second opinion. Our cancer  is so rare that you need a doctor that has treated CC and is open to all options and knows what trials are out there. A second opinion will validate what you already know or will have a better prognosis..
My hero is Dr. William Chapman at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis MO.,  Dr. Javle at MD Anderson is another miracle worker you will read about on this site and another and the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio has a surgeon Dr. John Feng (Might have his name wrong). These are all great doctors that have really brought a lot of HOPE,  care, and positive results  to many of our CC family.
I have an amazing story to share and keep it posted at www.catherinedunnagan.com  I was diagnosed 6 years ago and there wasn't a lot of positive post being written, but in that short time, so many people are posting  amazing and positive options and treatments!!
Please feel free to email or call if I can help or you just want to talk. (618-567-3247)
Lots of prayers for healing and HOPE!! Cathy

11

(6 replies, posted in Introductions!)

Jim, Welcome and sorry you had to find us.  I am excited to tell you I am 5 years cancer free form this "monster". I was considered inoperable and had 6-8 months to live, but my saving grace was being diagnosed immediately by a doctor very versed in CC and he knew right away that my only HOPE was a transplant, he immediately put me in the care of Dr. William Chapman at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis MO. I have  an amazing story to share and keep it posted at www.catherinedunnagan.com
My best advice to you at this time is to make sure your doctor is very versed and educated in the treatment of CC, that he/she  is open to transplants as an option, and even second opinions to validate his. I have shared my story enough that several have contacted Dr. Chapman and at least  4 have had there "inoperable" diagnose changed to him being able to resect and in one case even transplant (the Mayo told him he couldn't be transplanted), these fellow CC members all were at major cancer centers to begin. Read posting by "Daisy" and" Brenda on the farm" for second opinion stories I am alive today because Of God, 2 strangers and Dr. William Chapman and that is exactly how Dr. Chapman list it!!!  Jim there are so many more positive stories and success stories than there was 6 years ago when I was diagnosed, there is HOPE!!!
Please contact me if I can help. (618-567-3247)
Lots of prayers for HOPE-Cathy

Hi Suzanne, Welcome and sorry you had to find us. I am excited to tell you I am 5 years cancer free!! There is HOPE!! I keep my story posted at www.catherinedunngan.com
I also did the chemo pump and side effects were minimal except major fatigue towards the end of my six week cycle (I did 7 days a week, 24 hours a day for 6 weeks, while doing radiation).
I love that you are  counting your blessings, that is the key to your sanity during this time, appreciating that no matter how bad there is still light and HOPE!!
I am alive today because of God, 2 strangers, and Dr. William Chapman and the most amazing part that is exactly how Dr. Chapman would list it!!
Lots of prayers-Cathy

13

(22 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Pat, Congrats on 9 years, you are my role model!! I am 5 years and am excited to hear about 9 years.
I try to tell everyone that when I awoke from my 3 week coma and was told what had happened my first thought  was "thank God Jeff and Cates had memories". I didn't go first to "who did payroll, did they know to pay, did they call.... I was so happy to know that if I hadn't made it they would have great memories of enjoying life. We have more memories in the bank than money!!!
Lots  of prayers for you to stay 4 years older than me in the cancer free birthday!! 
Cathy

Hi Christine, Welcome and sorry to meet under such negative circumstances, I have been to hell and back thanks to CC, and am excited to tell you I am 5 years cancer free, there is HOPE!! I have an amazing story to share and keep it posted on www.catherinedunnagan.com. I am alive today because of God, 2 strangers and Dr. William Chapman at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, MO.
Dr. Chapman is a world renown doctor and the kindest soul you will meet. I know of at least 4 CC patients that have contacted him after sharing my story, have all had there prognosis changed for the better. Dr. Chapman is phone friendly and knows time is not our friend and will act with in days if he can help.
Please call 618-567-3247 or email if you would like to talk or if  I can help you
Lots of prayers-Cathy

I am 5 years cancer free and still have chemo brain or at least that is my excuse and I am sticking with it!! I did some form of chemo for 9 months while waiting for transplant and my oncologist was very adamant about me taking a low dose anti-depressant as a preventive, since this is such an overwhelming time. I followed her advice and had no side effects from doing that. I also always took 3 anti-nausea meds so something was in my system at all times. My doctors also put me on megace as appetite stimulant. One doctor told our daughter, who was in college that if she wanted to provide marijuana at this time, she wouldn't object LOL!!!!
Lots of prayers for HOPE, peace and cancer free  for your husband!
Cathy

16

(57 replies, posted in Members' Cafe)

Samuel, Gone but not forgotten, is how your dad will always be. I know Percy did not find the cause or cure for this awful word, but he did everything possible to raise awareness and information of it and passed on so much HOPE to so many he never me,t all while dealing with terrible cancer.
Amazing and inspiring man.
Prayers of peace and comfort for you and your family.
Cathy

17

(15 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Julie, I think your analogy about  cupcakes stores is great. I think the FB pages are a "watered down " version of the forum.  I think in doesn't have the structure we do, so to give information or names of people who have amazing stories to share like Lisa Craine, Patty from Illiniois, Kris ,Daisy, my self.... will not grow because there won't be the connect or depth we share here.
Our goal here and on FB is to give HOPE,  information and the names of doctors and hopsitals that give HOPE.
I told my HERO,(Dr. Chapman) I would post him name on every wall I could find so now it will be just a little harder! LOL!!
Lots of prayers for HOPE!!
Cathy

18

(15 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Gavin, there are two new FB pages- bile duct cancer awareness and the other is CHONGIOCARCINOMIA SUPPORTERS.  The FB pages both post stories, info and questions but there is something so different, maybe because there are no categories or no way to continue threads... I know I have  posted a few times about my HERO and expierences  but I don't know they have gotten as far or had the impact that this site has when I  share them. I am afraid that to many support sites derails us, cause our cancer is  still rare and not enough knowledge about it so taking the little there is and dividing it up doesn't help those looking for all they can find about it or those having information sharing it.
Lainy this site is mentioned but more as a clinical/technical site.
Cathy

19

(15 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Just curious  if anyone else has noticed our site is not as busy with personal journeys, struggles, expierences  and all there info, as it had been? I know there are 2 new FB pages groups and have 1500 members plus and I can't help but wonder if that has made it a little more quieter on our site. As much as this site could really scare you when battling CC it was so much help in treatment options and the kind of understanding you have only when you "walk a mile in someones shoes"
Just wondered what anyone else thought.
Lots of prayers
Cathy- 5 years cancer free/6years since they said I had 6-8 months!!!

Sis- HOPE you hear soon!! Dr. Doyle is GREAT and like I said a great shoe collection too!!
Dr. Chapman and team know time is not our friend, so I am sure you hear soon!
Lots of prayers for good news-Cathy

Mark/Sis- as long as Barnes covers it, that's all you need!! LOL!!
Prayers for positive answers to being a candidate for transplant/resection-Cathy

Daisy, Brenda on the farm, and Jathy1125 all Dr. Chapman's success stories, he is keeping the
"good news, what's working" section full!!!
Congrats Daisy's mom!!
Cathy

Sis, So excited that you are going to see our HERO Dr. Chapman!! Brenda and I are life time members of the Dr. Chapman fan club!! LOL!!
I sent you an email but there was conflicting messages when sent so please contact me if you don't receive it and would like to talk or if I can help I live in St. Louis area ! 618-567-3247
Lots of prayers-Cathy

Crazy to read Brenda's original  post because less than a year later Kenny got his liver!!!
Apparently Medicare pays!!
Lots of prayers for all the battles our CC family faces
Cathy

Willow, sending prayers for peace and comfort for your sister and your family during this time.
Cathy