Topic: Surgery 5/21 with good news!

I posted to the forum back in May when I was initially diagnosed and I apologize for the delay in not getting back to everyone about the surgery.  I know you will understand...it has been a long process for me to be able to read about this disease and all of the stories of people who are so affected by it.  I, for a long time, could not read anything about it and I am a person who thoroughly researches everything!   But, I just couldn't.  This has now become a place in which I find great comfort but it can also be very frightening.  As someone recently wrote about this being a place they both cling to but also want to avoid.  I'm paraphrasing but I so related to that!

I wanted you all to know that the surgery did turn out very well.  I have only slowly learned how very fortunate I am...but I also know this is an unpredictable disease in many respects.  It was initially diagnosed when I went in for evaluation of the one and only time I have experienced any gallbladder problems.  The tumor in my liver was seen during a routine ultrasound to workup the gallbladder problem.  I then had a CT scan and then a CT guided biopsy.  That was when the cc was diagnosed.  I then had a PET/CT scan that showed the only area of disease was the one lesion in the liver.  Two weeks later, on May 21st I had a liver resection.  They biopsied a number of lymph nodes, another area in the liver and some other areas of concern in my abdomen.  They were all negative!!  The tumor was 3X3X2 cm and 3 cm negative margins were obtained.  I recovered pretty quickly after 8 days in the hospital.  I took the dogs for a mile walk after I'd been out of the hospital 10 days!  I did leave the hospital with a low blood count (Hct 22) and that did cause quite a bit of dizziness, but I was pretty determined!!  The pathology showed a minute focus of vascular invasion and extensive perineural invasion.  The oncologist estimated that the cure rate would be about 70% and did not recommend any chemo or radiation and the surgeon agreed with that as well.  And I am comfortable with that given the risk versus benefit.  So, I feel there is a great deal of hope and I am living my life with that hope...it is the only way I know how to do this.  I am living my life in the belief that I am cured and, if that is not the case, I will do everything I need to or can do.  I do find that I certainly see life differently and find a great deal of peace and comfort in living in the moment  and the seemingly small things that make life so meaningful.  Just feeling and seeing and being with my family and friends.  Being totally in the moment and experiencing all there is in this world.  I hope that makes some sense...it is hard to express.

I want to say how I am so amazed by the strength and optimism that I find here.   And by the support everyone finds when they come here in trying to find their way through this journey...each journey being different but sharing much in common.

With wishes for strength and peace and for hope and healing to you all.

Jean

Re: Surgery 5/21 with good news!

Hi Jean, congratulations on your successful surgery. My Mum just had a liver resection as well, however her recovery is not so fast.
After the surgery, they did a test on the tumor and liver part, lymph nodes taken out and they found nothing also, the negative bile duct part is only 2mm. The only difference I realised between my Mum and your case is that the Dr did not perform a PET scan for my Mum before the surgery. So that, anybody here who has experience on this please advise if this is totally necessary or not?
thanks alot for your advice.
Hai Minh

Re: Surgery 5/21 with good news!

Hi Jean!

So wonderful to finally hear from you!  It sounds like all went just as perfectly as it could!  Now you can move forward and lead a "normal" life, enjoying the warmth, love and strength of your family and friends. Live every day with peace and joy and don't leave us for too long at one time. We care about you and you KNOW everyone needs to hear the good news! 

Best wishes,
Sue

Today is a new day. Congratulations, you are already a survivor!

4 (edited by JeffG Tue, 05 Aug 2008 12:01:44)

Re: Surgery 5/21 with good news!

Hi Jean, So happy to hear of your good results.  Fantastic actually!  Live life to the fullest is a well decided journey.
God Bless,
Jeff G.

Hai Minh,  You are saying that the pathology reports of the rescected liver and lymph nodes where negative?  Did't they do a tissue biopsy before surgery?  How did they determine it was Cholangiocarcinoma?  I'm sorry for the question just a little puzzeled. In any case glad to here your Mom is doing much better.
Jeff G.

Take it to the Limit,One More Time! (Eagles)

Re: Surgery 5/21 with good news!

Congratulations on your successful surgery Jean!  My wife

Re: Surgery 5/21 with good news!

Now that's what we're talking about!!!!!!!!!!!  Go team!  Wonderful news. Thank you for sharing it with us!!!

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: Surgery 5/21 with good news!

Hi Jeff, they did not do the biopsy before the surgery, as they thought this is cancer (cholangiocarcinoma) in most of the case. After the surgery, based on the pathology report, they can confirm that this is cholangiocarcinoma, and the lymph node and margin is negative (maybe i do not use the correct words, but they confirmed that it is clean in her body now).
What about you and other patients who also had a resection surgery?