Topic: Best Friend just diagnosed.. 34 year old male..stage 4

Hi

Hope someone can give some advice.  My best friend (BF) went to the ER about a week and a half ago for right side abdomen pain. (he has never had any other symptoms and still basically symptom free other than some general achiness on his right side) Long story short, they found a mass in his abdomen blocking the view of the gallbladder, 4 days later he had a biopsy done and the next day the surgeon called and said it was cancer and referred him to an oncologist.  We went to the oncologist today and he told us it was stage 4 cholangio carcinoma gallbladder cancer.  The doctor said that my BF had spots on his liver, and omentum that were also cancerous in addition to the gallbladder being totally cancer ridden.  He said surgical removal of a tumor was out of the question, as was radiation due to how spread out the cancer cells are in the abdomen.  He also said that the tumor is 7 centimeters in diameter and that chemo is the only option at this point.  BF has a consult with a sugeon tomorrow for a chemo port to be put in and he also has a chest ct and bone scan scheduled for this week.  Does anyone know how effective chemo is???  His only "medical" history is being overweight, but not unfit.. he works out but still is heavy.  No one will answer our questions regarding the mortality rate on something of this nature... it is so awful, as 2 weeks ago he was thinking about buying his first home and now he doesn't even know what to expect over the next few months.  Can someone give us any advice???


Thanks
Stefanie

Re: Best Friend just diagnosed.. 34 year old male..stage 4

Dear Stefanie,

Very sory to hear about your BF's diagnosis.  To be honest, CC is really a terrible disease and the cure / treatment options is somewhat limited.  I know the exact feeling and experience that you are going through right now and it is just a world of confusions.  I should say you must be strong and positive throughout beginning now and this website is very useful and there we are all here with the same disease going through the same ordeal.

You might want to get some second opinions to see if he is a candidate for any surgery.  Chemo has worked in some cases but it really depends on the person to see if chemo has some response.  My own father after his recurrence earlier this year started Chemo in which his first regimen was not successful.  He is now on a second regimen and doing much better.

My prayers are with you and your BF and wish you all the best.

Best Wishes and stay strong!

Re: Best Friend just diagnosed.. 34 year old male..stage 4

Stefanie,   Sorry to hear about your best friend.  Not much I can add to the post of Jliu168.  I would just repeat that getting a second opinon for surgery is a good idea.  Is your friend located near any major cancer centers?  You asked about the mortality rate.  You can look at it statistically and individually.  I would say that a lot of factors go in to how long a person can survive this relentless disease.  This site has seen members succumb to this disease within 3 months from time of diagnosis, but have also seen members and know of individuals  who are still battling this disease after 8,9,10, years with surgeries, chemo, radiation and alternative treatments.  It is important to understand it is not clear cut.  It depends on how bad it has spread and to what organs.  It also depends on the individual and how they respond to certain treatments.( ( This disease is hardly ever discovered soon enough for a good prognosis)).  It is not considered curable but is treatable, It also depends on the medical professionals and if they can utilize their expertise to the fullest and if your BF's condition is such to allow them to do so.  I better stop now, I have a habit of rambling.  Be strong headed(positive) and optimistic Hard choices to be made real soon.  God Bless and wish your BF the best.   

Jeff G.

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

Re: Best Friend just diagnosed.. 34 year old male..stage 4

Dear Stefanie,
I'm sorry to hear your BF has been diagnosed with cc. Go for second opinions. My mum was diagnosed about 6 weeks ago. The first doctor simply told us that she was in a terminal stage and wouldn't last 4 months. We got so angry at that. We went for a second opinion. My mum had surgery on July 1st. A large part of her liver was removed as was the bile duct and gallbladder. The first 5 days after surgery were gruesome. But now she is doing so much better. Her appetite is back, she looks so much better because before the procedure she was severly jaundiced. All the yellow is gone from her complexion. I have an appointment with her doctor tomorrow to find out what her status is right now. She's been in hospital for 6 weeks now and next monday she'll be able to go home.
You should check out the following procedures if resection is not an option for your friend and also if it is. LDN (lowdosenaltrexone), AHCC (Active Hexose Correlated Compound). LDN sounds promissing and I'm going to talk about this treatment with my mum's doctor. Don't give up and don't give in. Doctors give so little information it leaves you at a total loss. Don't accept that. Ask questions and show them that you care and that you will fight, no matter what.
Try to find out what the bilirubin levels are in your friends blood. If they are still normal they should be around 0,3 to 1,9 mg/dl. That means the liver can still deliver bile to the intestines without being interrupted.
Also ask for tumor markers in his blood.

I'll be thinking of you. Keep the faith, don't ever give up hope.

Pat

Re: Best Friend just diagnosed.. 34 year old male..stage 4

Stephanie-My husband's scenario is very similar.  His CC was diagnosed 3/30.  He is feeling much better now after 4 doses of chemo.  We have not been there yet but have very strong feelings about the Cancer Treatment Center of America.   There are 4 locations and hopefully one is near you but we feel going there even though it is far from us may be the answer.   We read the book "No Place Like Hope" and Dave has talked on the phone to the folks at this hospital and they were very very encouraging.  Please call them.  See their site. www.cancercenter.com/   Best of luck to you and your BF.  Stick by him as support is so important.   Patrice