Topic: Second opininions

My girlfriend who is 68 but looks 49 was admitted to the  hospital
on July 3rd with jaundice and itching.  She thought
that it could be hepatitis, but MRI's indicated a bile duct
mass.  When I did a google search cholangiocarcinoma was
the first thing that came up, and as most of you already know
it has been like a surreal nightmare ever since.
She lives on the Jersey shore and with all due respect the
hospital she went to and the people that saw her screwed around
for about a week before thaey attempted to do a stent, then another two weeks before she was referrred to
Cooper Hospital in Camden.  They attempted several
other procedures to get her drained of the bilirubin and last
week-end discharged her telling her friends and family that
she was unresectable and had 2 or three months to live.
After two days at home she became dehydrated and sick and
went back to the Shore Regional at which time
she was transferred to the University of Pennsylvania Hospital in
Philadelphia, which is her home town.
What a difference in attitude and care.  This insidious dreaded
disease is so rare that not that many people are willing to make
any kind of positive commitment and diagnosis.
Saturday Dr. Jeffrey Drebin came in and said that there is
a possibility that this Klatskin tumor can be resectred if
one of the lobes is clear and it appears that the tumor is  growing
down (sometimes that turn around and grow up) and if there is
any way possible he will have it removed.
I think there is only probably 20 surgeons that would do this
operation of which 10 are probably excellant.  What a difference
by going accross the Delaware River.  From the Grim Reaper to
Cautious Optimism.  Always get second opininions.  Don't
hope for miracles expect them.

Re: Second opininions

I hope your girlfriend is able to get the treatment she needs. Doctors do make the difference as I am finding out. Best of luck. Please keep us posted.


Cancer is a word, not a sentence.

36 year old patient with buckets of hope

Re: Second opininions

Hello Lee,

I shall offer my prayers that your friend is able to have a successful resection. It is a shame that she had to wait an extra week to have a stent inserted. I vividly recall the suffering Dawn endured from the incessant itching. My wife Dawn is 20 months post resection, her CT scans last month were clear. Dawn

Re: Second opininions

Even if the tumor is unresectable - there is ALWAYS  hope . My father in low after two unsuccessful operations is on the chemoterapy ( here is his story … php?id=558  ) - and there is constant improvment smile:) So try to find good surgeon , but if you won't find  - immediately look for an oncologist .

Re: Second opininions

If you haven't yet found a surgeon who will resect the Klatskins don't give up.  Some just aren't resectable but  as you point out there are few surgeons in the world with the experience.  If it can be taken out it's her best hope for some good years.
Read my 'experiences' post for some background if your interested.  If you haven't found someone it's worth contacting Dr Roger Jenkins at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington Mass.   781-744.2500.
He'll want to see records and any imaging you may have so be sure to get copies of any CAT's or MRI from the hospital that did them.
Best wishes for a difficult battle.  Never give up.  I'm 4 years from surgery next week and my quality of life is still excellent.