Thank you to everyone who has been reading or contributing to this forum. I find it very helpful since there seems to not be that much info about this. My family is leaving me out of the dark on my dad's situation and I am hoping I can get some answers here.
My dad was diagnosed with stage 3 bile duct cancer recently. He had typical symtoms (e.g. jaudice, itching, etc.) but it was relieved after a surgery sometime in early March (I think they removed or put in something. From what I have been reading on the forum, I believe it may have been a stent). Symptoms first appeared around end of January 2011 and cancer was confirmed on March 28 (I remember this because it was my first day of my last quarter at UCLA. I am graduating in June). The cancer is unresectable. Surgery is not an option He will start his first chemo treatment in the first week of May. I believe it is extraphaletic bile duct cancer (I remember seeing 'klatskin tumor' in the medical records).
Can anybody provide any info based on the info above? What is the prognosis? How serious is stage 3 (I've read that there are 4 stages...)? How will he be after chemo? What can I do to help when I come home on the weekends? Should I tell my close friends?
I don't know what is going to happen and when I think about it, it consumes my thoughts to the point where I put off studying for school and will research info on the internet. I graduate in less than two months and I'm worried my dad will not be strong enough to see me graduate.
I've read that the 5-year survival rate is very low...in 5 years I will be 27 and I highly doubt that I will be married at that time so it makes me sad to think that my dad may not have the chance to see the person I will marry, etc.
It's difficult because I do not know how to deal with this. I sometimes forget about it and then i feel guilty for doing so. My brother told me to be positive, but I find it harder and harder each time. I think I'm not supposed to know about the seriousness of the situation because my family doesnt want me to "fail" out of school, but my brother and sister keep me somewhat informed. I've cried twice over this, but today I just let everything out and cried the worst I've cried in recent years; my best friend walked in on me and comforted me.
Any info/advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!