My dad was diagnosed with stage IV cholangiocarcinoma in May 2013. Since then, he has gone through several rounds of chemo, liver resection surgery, saw his cancer come back, more chemo, more radiation therapy and then some chemo. In the process, he has been hospitalized quite a few times because of side effects, heart problems etc.

Recently he develop a bad case of hand-foot syndrome. He also has a sore on his back. He had fevers but they have gotten better. We brought him to the hospital two days ago and they admitted him. He is not talking much and spends most of the day sleeping. He got his last chemo 2 weeks ago.  It's tough but I'm trying to get a realistic answer on if these are end of life symptoms or if these are just side-effects of chemo?

I just want to add - I have spend numerous hours reading discussions on this forum. And I'm extremely thankful to everyone who have shared their experiences on this dreadful disease.

Thank you so much. Those are exactly the two medicines they are using. They started Heparin yesterday and will start giving him Coumadin tonight.

I wish I found this website/blog earlier. It's better late than never. I'm on the site because my dad was diagnosed with this terrible disease earlier in the year and I will like to share his diagnosis/treatment so far -

My dad was diagnosed with advanced stage (stage 4) 'Gallbladder Cancer' in May, 2013 that had spread in the bile duct and right lobe of the liver (we later found out it was Cholangiocarcinoma after his liver resection surgery). Most surgeons at the time told my dad that he was inoperable and oncologists said that there is no cure. He had a plastic stent placed right away that helped with his jaundice. The stent clogged after 2 weeks and was replaced with a metal stent. We live fairly close to New York city and decided to go to Sloan-Kettering Memorial hospital. My dad's primary oncologist is Dr. Kenneth Yu. My family feels a great connection with him and he is a great oncologist. He told us not to lose hope and to take one day at a time.

From that point on, my dad received 4 cycles of Gemzhar/Cisplatin chemo treatment (2 weeks of chemo followed by a week off). The ct scan that followed these 4 cycles showed 20% shrinkage in the tumor. Our oncologist discussed my dad's case with the surgeons at Sloan-Kettering, who still thought that my dad was inoperable. At that point, we met with Dr. Myron Schwartz (great surgeon, seems to genuinely care about my dad) at Mt. Sinai hospital and he was willing to operate on my dad. We took the risk and my dad was operated on November 11th, 2013. He had a resection of his liver, bile duct and his gallbladder was removed. They also removed 12 of his lymph nodes, out of which 3 came back positive from the pathology. It was also found at this time that he had cholangiocarcinoma. He was discharged in a week.

After being at home for a week, he complained of pain in the abdomen and spiked a fever. Since then he has been in the hospital. CT scan showed a blood clot in his super mesenteric vein (connected to his intestine). I'm not sure if the blood clot is a result of his surgery or cancer or both. He is being treated with blood thinners at the moment at Mt. Sinai hospital. We are praying that blood clot goes away and he can come back home soon. We still take one day at a time.

anuj