Topic: A Shock for us...and info for everyone
One of my few posts on this site was an Introduction of my wife's case posted on Jan. 5, 2007, where I told of the great response she had to chemo in reducing a nearly 7 by 7 Cm metastasis in her liver on Gemzar & Oxaliplatin over a 6 to 7 month period, with chemo continuing in the hope she could have both her Klatzins tumor and the metastasis resected soon. The metastasis was down to 2.3 Cm in a scan done in late September, 2006, but the late November scan was indeterminate with some possible growth. A re-read of this scan by the radiologist stated that on further examination, the tumor was stable at 3 Cm. Chemo continued, and in early January we began trying to contact surgeons to send the scans for evaluation, and stopped Chemo in preparation for the surgery (we needed a six week delay after chemo ended). It turned out that the standard CT scans that had been done were not detailed enough for such an evaluation, and we learned that a Triple-Phase (or Tri-Phasic) scan was needed to provide a better image. Due to a combination of circumstances, we were unable to get this done until February. WE ARE IN SHOCK that this scan showed the metastasis had grown to 8.6 Cm, larger than original size, plus the bile duct tumor has increased as well! In other words, no resection. All this in only two and one-half months with Chemo still active until the last 5 weeks!
My wonderful wife is still feeling great and has kept up her spirits even though we know we are starting over at square one, having to look at different Chemo and whatever else may help. I don't get to be very active on the site because I don't have a computer to use at home, but felt it very important to get this info out to everyone to consider in their own cases.
First, don't assume the Chemo will continue working even with a fantastic track record in your case, as we did. The slightest indication of a change may be critical.
Second, the difficulty of finding a Radiologist familiar with the bile duct area as others have mentioned. In my wife's case, they were tracking only the metastasis, as important as that was, because it could be seen with the normal CT Scan. We didn't even learn of the Tri-Phase Scan until January which was critical to seeing the Bile Duct area which we thought was shrinking just like the metastasis. And of course, question everything, which we had done a pretty good job of, but perhaps not good enough. We are moving ahead and hope with prayer, good doctors, and good luck we will again accomplish what we did last year, but with more successful results. God Bless You All!