Topic: It's a New Year

I have been reviewing this site since my diagnosis in July at the age of 39. I am stage IV with very large tumors in my liver and metastasis in my lymph nodes thus far. The interesting thing is, I visited the doctor not because I had any symptoms, but because I had a feeling something was wrong with me. The only symptons I have had to date are night sweats, initial weight loss, changes in my stools and some chest pain.

I am being followed by Dr. Kaseb at MD Anderson and am receiving local chemotherapy under the care of Dr. Youman in Austin, TX. So far I have had two rounds of chemo with Gemzar and Cisplatin. First round indicated a reduction in size of the largest  tumor (originally 13cm x 8cm - HUGE) and a reduction was found in the lymph nodes. Second round had mixed results. One of the other tumors had gotten larger and the largest tumor is showing signs of increased density. The good news is the lymph nodes are continuing to shrink.

Last week I completed my first round Xeloda, Taxotere and Gemzar. Overall I have felt well through with this cocktail and all of the chemo I have received. The fatigue is tough and I have had severe anemia prompting me to have three blood transfusions. It seems the Xeloda has added insomnia to the list of side effects.

I have an 8-1/2 month old daughter that just enjoyed her first Christmas. Having her has been such a joy but this disease has really put a damper on my dreams. I have a wonderful husband and supportive family and friends to support me through this. I received David Servan-Schreiber's book, "Anti-Cancer", for Christmas and read it in two days. It was very informative and made sense to me. I am changing and adding to my diet, reaching out (ie. this introduction),exercising more and begining to follow yoga and meditate. I am looking into acupuncture.

Thank you for working so hard on this site. I am looking forward to being a part. Just remember I have a little girl that will be crawling any day now! It is a banner day if I have time to check my e-mail.

Happy New Year to all of you and may we find the strength to learn to manage and live as long as we can with cholangiocarcinoma.

Re: It's a New Year

Welcome to the site!  I hope that you find tons of information and support here.  May I ask which lymph nodes were involved in your cancer?  I'm worried about mine.

I hope your chemo shrinks those tumors. 

Enjoy your little one!

Lisa

Re: It's a New Year

Welcome to the best little club in the world that no one wishes to join! From the tone of your letter I would say you are already on your way to beating the odds!!!  Attitude is everything and you absolutely have a fabulous attitude. I would imagine having that little girl is going to help as well. MD Anderson, I understand, is one of the best. Keep up your good work and please keep us posted!

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: It's a New Year

I also want to welcome you to the site.  Know that we are here for you whenever you need us. I will be hoping for the best for you & your family on your journey with this awful disease.  Try to stay strong for yourself & your little girl. It does sound like you have a wonderful & supportive circle of family & friends and that is very important, especially now.  It sounds like you have a very good attitude & are doing all the right things.

Take Care
Darla

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.

Re: It's a New Year

Your strengh & spirit are to be commended! Great for you for continuing to seek balance in your body, spirit & mind- and for reaching out to share your story.  8.5 mo. is such a wonderful age... be careful though, my little one skipped the crawling all together & went right to running at about 10 mo., he's 3 now.  His Grampa has cc, and he goes to grandpa's infusion/chemo appointments with us because they love each other to pieces & always make each other smile!

Best of luck to you in the new year, with all the new positive changes you have planned!

-Tess

Re: It's a New Year

Lisa:

Sorry for the delayed response. I have extensive lymph node involvement. From my understanding the enlarged nodes are at the gastoheptic ligament (between the liver and stomach), along the hepatic artery (artery distributing blood to the liver, gallbladder and pancreas), at the retroperitoneal (covers the abdominal organs), retrocaval region (I am uncertain of its physical location but will ask doc on Thursday), and the left paraaortic (around the aorta).

I have been told that I am not a candidate for surgery until the cancer is out of my lymph nodes. That is a very tall mountain to climb. I am very scared but have tried my best to focus on my baby. The toughest part of this for me is that my daugther deserves to have a mother and it seems my time is quite limited.

I hope you do not have it in your lymph nodes. Best wishes.

Mary Ann

Re: It's a New Year

Masherlock,

You are my new hero, I can't imagine facing this cancer and caring for an infant. Your daughter is lucky to have such a strong mother, cancer is fierce but so is a mother's love--you rule!

Patty