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

Nancy, congrats on 5 years !   When I first read about cc and it's stats I was upset to say the least, and statistics stopped at 5 years and the numbers were not very encouraging. I didn't find this site until I was a six year plus survivor. I have learned so much about this disease, and how blessed we are to have somewhere to talk about concerns. Keep celebrating those milestones ( My liver was resected 9 years ago Jan. 26 ) only once though, you are a trooper, Keep that great attitude,  Pat


(21 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Sandie, may your trip be filled with beauty and perfect weather, enjoy ....you deserve it,  Pat


(2 replies, posted in Thought for the Day)

Duke, thats beautiful, Thanks for sharing  that one, it's "rich", Pat


(42 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Dear Sammie, my heart goes out to you and all of you during this difficult time. Although my case never got as far as your fathers, I did think about that time, and I will say I had two golden retrievers at the time, and of course these animals are completely dependent on their number 1 human, this is a mindset that goes both ways. When my liver was resected, the only thing I wanted was to be home with my dogs, and I believe a big part of my recovery was my programmed mind and soul to take care of and look after the welfare of my furry dependants. Perhaps a big part of  your fathers inability to see the world without him is because of his dog. Show him and make him know Winston is being cared for very well.  My heart  breaks for all of you, Pat


(22 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Margaret,  one august evening I met with a friend to watch a baseball game and have a few beers and some deep fried chicken wings. That night I was kept up by a pain in my forward right side. It was not a throbbing pain like most stomach upsets, it was a constant pain, like some other irritation than usual. I went to work looking like I had been up all night, my boss suggested I go home, rest and go see a doctor. I did, he said textbook gallbladder symptoms, ordered an ultrasound of my GB and a soft tissue tumor was discovered in my left hepatic duct, which the ultrasound tech identified in her report as "possible cholangiocarcinoma" leading doctors to start in the right direction. I was lucky how things fell. It took 5 months to have tests and finally be operated on Jan. 26, 2006 , 8 a.m. with 5 days of recovery, no chemo, no radiation, just surgery which showed clear margins and no lymph involvement. Early diagnosis has afforded me a very trouble free survival, perhaps as good as it gets. At nine years later I have a small lump along my scar on my stomach, one small hernia which my doctors say not to mess with, and my life is as before other than I cannot lift heavy objects. Common sense, dietary changes, avoid contact with organic solvents, vehicle exhaust, both things common for a equipment mechanic which I am. That is my nutshell, lots of scans and blood tests over the years watching for possible return. For right now everything is good, I am enjoying life to the fullest, Being diagnosed is perhaps the toughest challenge for the human spirit, a test of mental and physical strength. It is important to not lose track of your hopes, dreams, and goals in life, and to not be beaten by this mentally. I hope something here can help you or others, God bless, Pat


(8 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Congrats Derin, What a great christmas present, Best wishes  , Pat


(2 replies, posted in Thought for the Day)

Time.... we all hope and pray for it.  We always have a varying perception of it, sometimes it can get away from us. Remember when you were very young, and when Christmas was over, it seemed like an eternity before it would be Christmas-time again? Then as we get older, it gradually seems to get shorter and shorter between annual milestones . My theory on this is when you are 5 or 6,  a year is about a fourth of your conscious lifetime. The mind adjusts for a longer life and looks at everything in  perspective of current lifetime. Every year, a year becomes a smaller part of the whole picture. After many years of successfully taking care of your body, you have cleaned it and fed it and cared for health of many subsystems, time eventually becomes the thing that draws the line on how far you get to go. Every Christmas I welcome its swift return and  I am thankful for every day in between, Facing the possibility of time ending makes the gift of another day more priceless. As every day becomes a smaller part of the whole picture, every day is what you make it. Christmas is the time of year to think of others and to be giving. May the spirit of the holidays be with all who read this throughout the year...God bless, Pat

Derin, My left lobe and 25% of my right lobe was removed. My surgeon said he would take a piece of intestine if he needed it fortunately he didn't, that simplified recovery ( I was eating 48 hours after surgery, went home day 5) . He said he was able to move things around a little and stretch the duct without making a piece, nice...one seam only, not two. all my plumbing is on my right, my liver regenerated very round like an over inflated football. Other than having cc, I am a lucky guy over and over. I went back to work in 10 weeks, and finished my career 4 years later. Most of all my biggest blessing is no recurrence over time. In prayer or deed I thank god every day. I hope all goes well and you can get rid of that drain,  God bless, Pat

Hello Derin, I have posted regarding this topic, and I will share with you what I have experienced with this bilary restriction issues at point of bile duct resection. About 18 months ago I had symptoms of bile duct restriction, light tan stools, mild pain, so I made an apt. with gastro I. doc who is my go to man right now, He ordered an MRI of the bile duct, as he felt this image is more detailed when imaging the bile duct. The radiologist said the opening of the bile duct was down to 3mm where the normal inside diameter of the bile duct is 7 to 9mm. I am nine years past resection, I noticed your doctor cited 3mm as the normal I.D. ....so which is it?  I have read a bile duct is about the size of a drinking straw. Seems to me 3mm is about right. I am not a doctor, I know the duct is more like surgical rubber tubing than a straw, it will stretch and move around. I stretch my midsection a few times a week, one arm up, sideward bend to left to stretch right side, you can feel stuff move a little in there when you do this. I do this because you dont want it kinking up, this little tube has to keep moving around a little. Try to visualize what is in there.Don't slouch to the right where you would possibly kink or restrict it with your posture. Fortunately I have made it 9 years without a stent or a balloon or anything like that. I know a skilled, experienced hand is priceless for this to be done with long term results. The same is true when a stomach muscle is stitched back together, I have one small lump along the stitching and I am very fortunate with this as well. I drink alcohol once or twice a week, I don't know for sure if it is relevant or not,most cc patient probably don't drink, by the same token most have a stent in their bile duct before 9 years. Try the stretching, it may help, good luck, Pat

Duke, maybe 18 months before diagnosis I was prescribed a pill for toenail fungus. It required a blood test to determine the health of my liver before prescribing this drug because " it is hard on the liver. "  I have wondered about any relevance here as well, Pat


(2 replies, posted in Members' Cafe)

Kris, tell Mark it is better to be lucky than good.


(10 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Well Duke, my analogy is distract yourself by doing what you love, or try something new, just for a while don't look ahead. Mental survival is as critical as physical survival . Faith is facing the unknown and not being overcome with fear. Have faith Julie, it might be a long ride, Pat


(10 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Julie, you are at a difficult time in the first year, it is hard to distract yourself from this topic. Our lives are like a canoe ride on a very winding river. We know there is a waterfall somewhere ahead, but we don't know just how far. Don't be so worried about the waterfall that you miss all the beautiful things along the shoreline . Think about what you love to do, make a plan and do it... hope for the best, Pat

Hi  Julie , I too get times I am cold , I take a hot bath and dress warmly, there have been days when I take 3 or 4 baths through the day, I think it is when the weather changes. It takes my body longer to adapt to seasonal change. Hope you stay warm, Pat


(22 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Well Cathy hang in there. Time passes  quickly ...pursue your dreams, help others, and you will be at 9 before you know it. My Oncologist always said cancer is the most baffling corridor of medicine one could practice. Cancers of all types can suddenly turn around, and all at once the bodies defenses recognize the cancer as an invader and suddenly it is gone .Never lose hope, it is our most powerful ally, My best wishes to you...Pat


(22 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Yes Lainy, I did check that out... His quotes are motivational, which basically is the same. Coach is making these statements to motivate young men to work hard . It  is way too easy to just sit around and be unmotivated. My dogs make me move every day, we help each other. They hate rainy days, and so do I . Keep moving, Pat


(22 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Years ago, a man I knew was going to retire. when asked what he planned to do, he said " I'm not going to sit on the porch and wait to die, that's for sure."  I thought of him often after he left our outfit and he would drop in occasionally and it is easy to apply this attitude to cancer survival as well. This is what I base my outlook on. thank you all again, Pat


(6 replies, posted in Members' Cafe)

Retirement is a wonderful thing, however it comes. Try this for a stress free day... ride a bicycle to a park on a beautiful day. Leave all your worldly cares behind, your cellphone, your watch, Just go and mess around doing nothing like you did when you were 15 , and your only deadline is to be home at dinnertime. Slow down enough to go back to that time, that frame of mind and smell the smells and hear the sound you havent heard in years because your head is too full of things. It's wonderful, Pat

Well there you are, Julie, you are a true survivor ! I commend you for showing an employee of a professional position how to do their job properly . You know how to be your own advocate, speak up now, you might not get another chance. Continue to take care of yourself, Pat

Serena, we all have tremendous resolve in our fight of this disease and I believe in anything that can help your fight. A few of the women I sponsored with cc had chemo.One had a chemo port which became infected. They said the infection went right to her liver, weakened already by the disease , surgery and chemo. Cindy voted on Tuesday and died on Thursday, it happened so fast I could not believe she was gone. My message is this to all chemo patients with a port, be ever so careful, watch every nurse, how your tubing is handled, your life depends on hospital cleanliness, 24/7. Pat

Serena, Hello, my name is Pat and I am a resection patient with 0 lymph involvement and I chose to forgo chemo treatments, my onc. suggested I do not get chemotherapy. He said he would let me have it if I felt it would help psycologically ...?  Well I certainly didnt want chemo to suppress my fears, thats for sure. I chose to not have it and I am happy I didn't.... Pat


(22 replies, posted in General Discussion)

And also Julie.... Live your life NOW not tomorrow, our future is uncertain, mine, yours, the 93 year old woman I help often, we live a life with no real long term plan. After my surgery when I was where you are Julie I went on what I felt was the vacation of a lifetime, I  wanted to see a south pacific island type paradise so I went to Bora Bora  with my ex wife ,  and had a wonderful time. I did many things I realized I had not done, experiences I had not lived, and I can honestly say I lived the best years of my life in the last 9 . Make short term plans for now. As you feel well enough , take that trip, get that puppy, live your life now.   Do it, ( voice of experience ) Pat


(22 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Oh iowa girl, I have asked for a thousand tomorrows one at a time. When those were all gone, I asked for a thousand more, one at a time. I'm currently working on my third thousand. Hey, this system works.... Pat


(22 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Lainy, yes I did see your response which was positive and energetic as most your replies are, thank you as always.Gavin you too are always upbeat and positive, thank you as well. So many things have changed and evolved in my life since 05', time has passed swiftly. I began sponsoring others with cc at about 5 years out , through different support groups in my area. All were women, all were resection patients, 4 different hopeful people who I cheered on and gave them my best support and hopeful  encouragement and did not have any of my people do well. I am not sure why god has given me so much and I want so much to have someone I support on this personal level do well with me.It has proven one of the toughest things I have faced in 9 years of my new life. I hope to have success in this area this year. Thank you all again, Pat


(22 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Sometime in the middle of September I passed my ninth anniversary of the discovery of a soft tissue tumor in my bile duct. I posted in the good news section as well, but part of me wants to find a summit and just scream it to the world. I believe in quiet celebration, however I also want you all to know that sometimes it goes well. I joined the sites registry and I hope to contribute however I can to this org. You have helped me get where I am today. Thanks to all the dedicated moderators and the patients who have shared their stories good and bad, Pat