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(3 replies, posted in In Remembrance)

Well I haven't been on in quite a while and I figured now was a good time to share that dad (Adan Cardosa) lost his battle to cholangiocarcinoma on December 17, 2012. He was originally diagnosed on January 25, 2012 at MD Anderson. Nearly the entire year fighting CC, you would have never known he was sick. He always looked and felt great. He was so lucky in that aspect. He did chemo until September and at that time it was determined there was nothing more to do. The tumor was increasing and he had lesions on both sides of the liver as well as the lungs. We did what we could and just kept praying that he would remain comfortable. Which he did. Right after Thanksgiving, things started slowing down. His edema in his legs came back. And mind you, this 76 year old man was still working part time through all of this, even the chemo. Never had any side effects from the chemo either. Just a little tired but nothing major. Once the edema started causing problems again, he decided to stop working. This was two weeks before he passed. Once he stopped working things seemed to get worse. His mobility became almost impossible for him to do without some sort of assistance. He kept falling. He was getting more confused. So the Friday before he passed, we asked for help. Hospice came in that day and they were a blessing!! They would help with bathing and keeping up with meds and anything else he needed. Brought in a hospital bed, special bathing chair, new walker, just to name a few. On that Monday he called me at work and was very confused about his meds. I assured him that his nurse would be by soon. I went to his house right after work to check on him and the nurse was bathing him and had him cleaned up and he seemed ok. My mom called me about 5 and asked if I could go by (while she was at work) to make him a little something to eat. He was already slowing down his appetite and his family doctor said it was probably the tumor growing still. So I made him a sandwich and I had to help him eat it because he was also getting the shakes. He only ate half and said he was full. We sat and visited for quite awhile until he said "maybe you should go home". I thought that was odd because he always loved company. I said no I would stay until mom got home from her second job. He kept insisting that I go. So I did and I assured him I'd be back to check on him. On my way out, my brother was on his way in to check on him. This was close to 9 and he stayed for about 20 minutes because dad insisted he go too. At 10:10, my mom called me screaming that she came home and found dad on the floor. She was hysterical and I told her to call 911 and I was on my way. I live about 5 min from them and I kid you not, I made it to their house in about 45 seconds. Mom was standing there screaming and I tried to wake him up and he wasn't responsive. Within seconds EMS was there and they immediately performed CPR and took him to the hospital. I tried to calm mom down even though I was about to lose it myself. We went to the hospital and they tried everything but the dr told us that when EMS arrived, there was no heartbeat.

I really think he knew it was time and didn't want us to see him go.
We laid him to rest two days later and it's been extremely hard. Dad was our rock and strength.

Rest in peace daddy...

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(1 replies, posted in Chemotherapy)

My  76 year old dad was diagnosed with cc in January. No symptoms at all. We found out from a cholesterol test that showed elevated liver enzymes. Did an ultrasound to find a tumor and lesions on the liver and lungs. Did 10 rounds of cisplatin and gemzar. No side effects from the chemo other than slight fatigue. Ct scans showed new lesions on liver and lungs so we switched to oxapalitin and leucoverin. Still no symptoms at all with the cancer. I mean nothing! Appetite is great and no weight gain or loss. Absolutely no side effects from this different chemo either.
Is his case rare that he shows no symptoms or side effects from chemo? When we tell the doctors, they say "well that's what we want to hear!"
Are we just blessed or are there any other cases similar to his? I know cc is aggressive but he's been diagnosed 7 months already...
We send hugs to patients and their families!!!
Xoxoxo
Claudia

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(7 replies, posted in Introductions!)

I believe that they said the oxapalitin (sp?) was the one not covered by Medicare. But Monday we start the oxapalitin and leucoverin at a county hospital to make payments for his treatments.  I was on the path to checking with the makers of xeloda to seek assistance but we went back to the original treatment.

I feel bad because as we kept hearing that our cancer did not have funding, dad said "I guess they think I'm a lost cause since this is terminal". Broke my heart. But we are NOT giving up!!

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(7 replies, posted in Introductions!)

Dcmac1972,
Do you feel the chemo made his condition worse, or the cancer progressed? I've heard so many stories how the chemo actually made things more painful.

Dad's primary care is through MD Anderson and they have been wonderful there.

5

(7 replies, posted in Introductions!)

Hello... My name is Claudia and my 76 year old father was diagnosed with cc on January 25, 2012.  He was referred to MD Anderson after his liver enzymes were elevated from a cholesterol test and a tumor and lesions were found on the liver with an ultrasound.  Upon diagnosis he was informed that he was not a surgical candidate due to the large tumor sitting on the portal vein so we started chemo treatment of gemcitabine and cisplatin.  We did 8 rounds and the scans revealed that the large tumor and lesions on the liver were shrinking but the nodules on the lungs were growing.  We continued another 8 rounds but this round was a bit more difficult because his platelets were always low.  I also have to share that he did so well with no side effects (other than the platelets) of the chemo.  The latest set of scans showed that the tumor maintained in size but the lesions were growing and also new ones were forming on both sides of the liver and the lungs.  Our doctor decided to change chemo because she felt that the cancer was growing resistant.

Up until this point, my dad has NO symptoms of the cancer.  No fatigue, no jaundice, no pain whatsoever!  He has maintained his weight and a well appetite.  It's hard to believe that this is growing inside of him and he has no symptoms.  In fact, to this day, my mother believes that the doctors must be wrong because he is fine.  I have hope but also have to be realistic with all the lab reports of this horrible cancer. 

The dr recommended changing the chemo to (I hope I get the correct names) leucovorin and oxaliplatin.  Well, due to my dad having only medicare, he is responsible for his 20% up front (which I have been paying up until this point and don't mind at all because I would do anything for my hero).  With the new regiment, his portion would cost us 1200 every two weeks in addition to the pump.  His chemo doctor recommended that we try xeloda hoping that the cost would be better.  It wasn't.  Xeloda would have been 600 every three weeks.  I have been referred to numerous agencies that can maybe assist with his co-pays.  I have yet to find any agency because I always get this answer, "I'm sorry... We don't have any funding for that particular cancer."  And the CancerCare Copayment Assistance Foundation told me "We've never heard of that type of cancer...."  I have grown so frustrated! 

This afternoon I talked to the doctor again as to what our options would be and what would be the best path to take.  He recommended going with the original chemo of leucovorin and oxaliplatin and have it done at the county hospital to make payments. 

This is where we are now.  I've been on this site since January reading up on cc.  My dad is the best man you will ever meet.  I am glad that I am here and have seen so much support for everyone here.

I guess my two main questions are...
Is it rare that dad be considered stage 4 and has been diagnosed for over 6  months with absolutely NO symptoms whatsoever?
Does anyone know of any agencies that are willing to help with copayments of patients with Medicare only?

xoxoxo
Claudia