Re: Is surgery always the answer?

Gerry,

I am sorry you are facing this decision and I can't really offer any advice but others with more experience may want to know a little more before offering advice, such as how old are you, do you have any other health problems, how advanced is your cc, how many opinions have you sought, where are you being treated?

Whatever you decide, good luck.

Patty

Re: Is surgery always the answer?

Hello Gerry....the decision of surgery vs. chemotherapy or simply, palliative treatments has been discussed numerous times on this board.  As Patty has mentioned much has to do with the staging of your disease and other health issues you may have.  In addition too, I find it of utmost importance for anyone diagnosed and treated for this disease to be gathering the medical opinion of at least two (possibly three) physicians "very" familiar with this cancer. Different treatment options may be available to you. In addition too, the "search function" on the top of the page including, the "google function" on top right hand side are valuable tools for information gathering. And, please reach out to the great members of this site.  None of us wish to be here but, none of us would do well without this special place.   
I am happy that you have found us.
Best wishes,
Marion

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Is surgery always the answer?

Dear Gerry,

If surgery is possible in your case, it is your best chance for a complete cure. That's what my doctors told me when i was first diagnosed. I had surgery almost six years ago-- they removed my bile duct, gall bladder, and 50% of my liver, then constructed a new bile duct. I was in the hospital for 6 days, then at home taking it REAL easy for a month, but six weeks post-op I was able to go on a 4-day business trip clear across the country.

Unfortunately, this type of cancer tends to come back, and mine did. But that surgery bought me two years and eight months of fabulous cancer-free normal life, and I'm still doing well (I had radiation for the recurrence.)

I'm sure other members will weigh in shortly, but in my experience, the surgery was TOTALLY worth it.

Please let us know how you're doing. We're all here to help you in any way we can.

Wishing you all the best!

Kristin

Peace, hope, and healing to all!

Re: Is surgery always the answer?

Kristin
Thanks, that's really helpful.  I'm completing further tests next week and following this, I should have a clear idea of what treatment options are available.  Good luck with your treatment and keep in touch.

Take care...........Gerry.

Re: Is surgery always the answer?

Patty / Marion
Thanks for the advice (particularly concerning getting 2nd opinion).....I'll keep up the research..........Gerry

31 (edited by Frogspawn Wed, 11 Nov 2009 18:19:30)

Re: Is surgery always the answer?

Gerry
having reviewed my original opening comments to this thread i kind of think it was pretty insensitive in many ways... having said that quite a number of people at the sharp end have added their opinions about the efficacy of surgery. If nothing else i hope that the tests you are having mean that the doctors are able to give you some choices. Having read some of the posts that is a luxury that not everybody has had...

Re: Is surgery always the answer?

Frogspawn
No need to be concerned - CC has visited two close members of your family and it is only natural to be angry with the desease.  This experience gives you a unique (but painful) perspective on CC and many more members of this club will benefit from this.  I'm the same age as your brother (49 at Xmas) and I'm interested in his experience - the unvarnished truth is always best where CC in concerned. I had my first stent fitted 6 weeks ago and it was replaced this week (the pain was something else).  I was disappointed that it lasted such a short time as I have surgery scheduled for the end of the month.  My circumstances are similar to your brother's - the operation I require is a "whipple" but my surgeon has cautioned me, that while all the possible tests have been completed, he will only make a final diagnoses when he has a "birds-eye view" during surgery. 

Take care.....Gerry

Re: Is surgery always the answer?

Hi, Gerry. I just wanted to reiterate from my post on Page 1 of this thread that Teddy at the age of 73 had an aborted Whipple then 3 weeks later had the real Whipple. He is a 4 year survivor and when people see him (ask Marion) he looks great. It is the biggest surgery to the body, not life threatening just huge. He was sitting up in a chair the next day. And walking very slowly. He had 1 complication at the resection but finally healed totally in 7 months. A year later after surgery he went back to work part time and hit golf balls. His cancer returned last year where the duodenum was and it was zapped by radiation then cyber knife. It has returned again but is so small they want to do a PET Scan in Dec. to make sure it is CC. His regime consists of going to the Oncologist every other month and having LABS every month. His team consists of the Oncologist, Surgeon, General P., and Gastrointest. guy. We were warned many times as people usually are, that the surgeon does not know what he will really find until he gets in there. By the way the Whipple took 8 hours.
If there is anything you would like to know I will answer the best I can. Feel free to post on site or to e mail me. Your surgeon talks just like Teddy's did and that is a good start!

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: Is surgery always the answer?

Thanks Lainy,
Teddy seems to be a bit of a "scrapper" and I've no doubt he will get through his current challenge with you in his corner.  Thanks for outlining his history and current regime.....its helpful to have some idea of what may lie ahead.  Also, its re-assuring that our surgeons "talk the same", particularly since there's a few miles and the Atlantic between us - I'm Irish by the way.

Take care

Re: Is surgery always the answer?

Gerry, you already have a lot more going for you as you are 30 years younger than Teddy. Have lots of faith in your surgeon he sounds like he knows what he is doing. Isn't it a nightmare? One month we were visiting San Francisco and 2 months later he was totally jaundiced. I told him he didn't look good in yellow! Gee, you may be our first Irish family on here. Not quite sure but could be. We have wonderful family from all over the world. Please let us know when the deed is going to be done.

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: Is surgery always the answer?

Gerry......we have seen this on the board, a stent needing replacement within a few weeks.  I am wondering though, do they offer anesthesia to the patients?  In my husband's case the stent had to be placed right "through" the tumor and he refused another replacement unless he could be sedated.  Just a thought. 
Best wishes,
Marion

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER