Topic: Four years ago...

on June 23, 2006 my husband Tom and I were at a Farm Bureau Convention in Columbus Ohio. He was feeling "sick" and decided to go sit outside on a bench while the meeting was winding down. After sitting down he was unable to get back up and was luckily discovered by someone who ran in and found me. We at first thought he was having a heart attack and called the e-squad but as I looked closely at him I saw that his eyeballs had become very yellow. When the ambulance arrived his blood pressure was 70 over palp ( nothing) and we were scared to death. They asked where I wanted him taken, to Riverside or OSU and I said to the closest one, which turned out to be OSU. After arriving there and stabilizing his BP they began to question and be concerned about his jaundice. They thought he had some kind of poisoning at first due to the fact he had sprayed our plants just before leaving the previous day. They actually gave him a haz-met shower even though he had already showered twice since spraying. They then started the scanning process and bloodwork. The bloodwork was totally out of whack. Liver enzymes sky high. The CT showed a "blockage" in the bile duct. He was eventually admitted and I made the 2 1/2 hour drive home, after a very, very, long day. The first thing the next morning after calling our kids I got on the internet to see what caused a blockage in the bile ducts. I absolutely shook when I read that it was either gallstones ( Oh please God, let it be gallstones!!) or this really terrible, rare, terminal cancer.MY daughter did the same thing after I talked to her and had the same reaction!! That was the beginning of our journey. Two days later the diagnosis was official. After an unsuccessful attempt at surgery we were told he had 6-18 months at best. Luckily, because we were in Columbus at the time and OSU was the closest hospital and the one we chose to take him to, he received treatment there that he would not have received anywhere else. Yes, he has some problems occasionally due to radiation damage but he is strong and healthy and no one would believe that he has been through all that he has. He is now stent-less again after a successful ercp last week. The scar tissue in his duct was successfully dilated and the Dr. that did his ercp feels that there is no evidence of cancer returning. I believe his ca19 numbers will fall after he heals from all of the procedures he has had and after his prostate cancer is seeded in 2 weeks. His story is one of success without surgery and one that people should  be aware of. Having surgery isn't necessarily a cure. There are other treatments available and as Tom has shown they can be very successful! He was told half a dozen times that he only had a year to live, that only 1 % of patients survive longer than that without surgery, and he simply told them that he would just have to be part of that 1%! As Lainey and others say, attitude is everything! Keep the faith, take your supplements, eat your spinach and drink your carrot juice and who knows!! The Drs. obviously don't know everything and most admit it.  Best wishes to all and here's to another four years!!! Mary

Re: Four years ago...

Mary, What wonderful news!!! I hope I am able to write the same thing in 4 years time too.

If you don't mind me asking did Tom have any Chemo or just Radiation treatment?  My Dad is due to start Gem/Cis soon but I was wondering if Radiation would be a better option.

Also what supplements does Tom take?

Thank you once again for sharing your wonderful news

Best wishes

Devoted Daughter to the most wonderful Dad a girl could ask for.  Sadly lost his battle on 19.02.11, peacefully in the arms of Mom and I.  As requested by Dad "we will keep on smiling".

Re: Four years ago...

Mary,
Tom is such an inspiration. Take that statistics!

Kris

Cancer is a word, not a sentence.

36 year old patient with buckets of hope

Re: Four years ago...

Kris,
  If this site shows anything at all it's that the "statistics" aren't close to being right. People are doing better, living longer and receiving new and better treatment just in the four years we've been going through this.
   I think it would be helpful to all of the new people here if more of us veterans posted about our original experiences and  successes with treatments. There are so many postings from the past 5 years that's it's hard for most to go back and read how we all came here and our experiences since coming. I know Tom is one of the rare stories of success without resection but it would be good to refresh everyone's memories and help give the new members hope!
Andie,
  Tom had 5 weeks of external radiation with Xeloda followed by brachytherapy. This is the Mayo protocol used before transplantation. It is not done anywhere else that I have ever read about except at OSU. He takes beet root extract, milk thistle, turmeric, alpha lipoic acid, maitake mushroom D fraction, fish oil, niacin, multivitamin, resveratrol,and occasionally melatonin.  Best wishes to you and your Dad!   Mary

Re: Four years ago...

Thanks Mary for good news. Four years!! It made my day to know that another survivor is celebrating a milestone. Indeed, take that statistics and take that cancer. I'm sure all of us have special dates in mind. Mine happens to be December 18...

Prayers for many more milestones for Tom. God Bless...

bob

Re: Four years ago...

YEA!!!  Mary, don't have to tell you how much we love this kind of news. Keep up the good work and that attitude!

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: Four years ago...

Mary,

As a CC patient myself, I can say for sure that 4 years sounds terrific to me right now.  Especially with what the "statistics" are still saying.  Thanks for sharing with all of us.

I looking foward to being here in 4 years and celebrating with you on 8 years.

Linda Z.

"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...
it's about learning how to dance in the rain."

Re: Four years ago...

Hi Mary,

Enjoyed your post and love your upbeat spirit.   So wonderful your husband is celebrating 4 years.   My husband is also a CC survivor.  He did have the resection and it will be 3 years this August.  I saw where your husband has been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer.  We, too are dealing with that.  Our doctor has assured us the two cancers are not related at all which is comforting.  I see your husband is going to go with the seed implants.  We went to the doctor last week and I think that is the route we are going as well.  He has been doing the watchful waiting for over a year but the last biopsy shows the cancer is now in five sections, vs. three in the previous biopsy.  His PSA has still never been higher than 3.5 and his Gleason score is 6 so we have been holding off but now feel it is time to do it.

Best wishes!!
Nancy

Re: Four years ago...

Mary:
Wow!  Did your post ever inspire me!!  For the first time since my brother was diagnosed as not operable I have hope.  Thank you so much for sharing this great news.

Victoria