Topic: Hello Everyone
Our mom, Pat, age 53, was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma in March of '06. Like most of your stories, the doctors had a very difficult time in diagnosing what type of cancer she had. The doctors first thought she had gall stones, or acid reflux. Then her symptons increasingly got worse. Mom was always full of energy, but she slowly started to get more and more fatigued. Her appetite decreased as well. Then came the abdominal pain followed by the jaundice. Mom was admitted into the hospital. After numerous tests they found her cancer stemmed from the bile duct. At this time we were told that the cancer was in stage four. It had spread throughout her liver and into her lungs.
She then had to undergo surgery to open up her bile duct. The first try was unsuccessful. This is when we all started to fear the worst. Thankfully, on the second try, the doctor was able to get an external tube through her bile duct to release the bile. She had to have an external bag connected to the tube for a few days. This tube was left in her for more than a month. Then an internal, metal stent was put into place.
She was placed in a single blind clinical trial. There were two types of chemotherapy, 5-FU or XL-119, of which she would be given one. Her chemo schedule was five days on, followed by a break of three weeks. After three cycles of the chemo, she was given a CAT SCAN. We saw such positive results in that first CAT SCAN! All of her tumors shrank drastically. Therefore, we continued on with this process. Following the second CAT SCAN, the results were positive once again. The doctor even stated that most of the tumors on her lungs had nearly dissappeared. So of course we continued on. Following the third CAT SCAN the results were not good. Just yesterday we were told that her tumors have grown. Therefore, she was taken off of the study. We also learned that she was on 5-FU during this trial.
Tommorrow, the 4th, we are going to start a new treatment. She will be given a combination of Gemcitabine and Cisplatin. We are all hopeful this combo will work.
Our mom is such a fighter! She inspires us each and every day. Never give up hope!
Alison & Mike