Topic: What a relief!

Hello all,

I had another 3 month CT scan today. Doc says all looks great!  No sign of any cancer, all bile ducts look good.

Per usual, we sat for a few minutes and she asked if I had any questions or concerns.  I asked her for her opinion on this cancer and the actual odds of survival.  She told me that of the patients who came in late in their diagnosis, her rate of success (which I considered to be 5 years of survival after diagnosis, for this conversation) runs at about 40%.  For patients who are diagnosed "early" and are able to achieve negative margins on resection, her success rate rises to about 50%.  I'm not sure I am extremely happy with those odds, but it's better than the 10% chance I thought I had when first diagnosed.

She told me that she sees most recurrences occur in the first 6 to 9 months after resection.  I am now at 10 months, with no signs of recurrence.  She stated that 2 years is her magical point, in which she sees a huge decrease in recurrence rates. So, 14 more months and maybe I can start to relax!  Maybe!

I cannot thank you all enough for your support and help and "ears" for all the times I have been sad, scared and feeling extremely alone.  I really appreciate having this site to find friends and gather information.

Now, on to other things. Because the scan was good, I will be having knee surgery tomorrow, and again on December 20. Merry Christmas!!  I figure, I can just sit and direct on the 25th and let everyone else do all the work!!!

And to Rick and family, thanks again for all of your hard work. It's is a real comfort to know that there is someone out there who understands how devastating this disease is and can be. You have given us all a place for learning and friendship.

Happy Holidays to all and keep fighting!!!
Sue

Today is a new day. Congratulations, you are already a survivor!

Re: What a relief!

Sue... Glad to hear the good news.  Sorry you have to have surgery on the knees though.  You just might have fun playing the director's role.  Merry Christmas and God Bless Ya!
Jeff G.

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

Re: What a relief!

Sue - Congrats!!!  What a great piece of news!  Good luck with your surgery - it sure is a preferred one to have!

30-something caregiver

4 (edited by marions Thu, 06 Dec 2007 23:54:18)

Re: What a relief!

Sue - great news - and I also wish you good luck with the knee surgery.
I wish you the best on your Director's position during the Holidays which just might be the biggest job of all.
Marions

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: What a relief!

YEY!!!!!!! Oh Sue, it is such good news. You know I think we have this weird connection and similarities and I am just estatic that you are doing well. And 50% is nothing to sniff at. OFf to tell my husband.'

Kris

Cancer is a word, not a sentence.

36 year old patient with buckets of hope

Re: What a relief!

That is wonderful news! Good luck on the surgery and infinite "No cancer" checkups!
Rita

Re: What a relief!

Sue,  It is so good to hear good news!  Congratulations.  As we are in the beginning of this nightmare would you mind my asking where and with whom are you being treated.  I seem to run up against so many walls in trying to get my husband the treatment (other than Chemo) or trial that he needs.  May God's blessings be with you.
Karen

Wishing all God's blessings!

Re: What a relief!

Karen,

Thank you! 

I have no idea where you live, but we live in central Indiana. We have the Indiana University Medical Center available to us. It is one of the best cancer treatment centers in the world, with the best physicians. My doc is simply amazing. The day we met, she walked into the exam room and the first words out of her mouth were "I can take out your tumor". 

I do not know what your husbands case involves (how large is the tumor, location of the tumor, etc) but my tumor was found incidentally during a gall bladder attack while on vacation in Florida. I came home and it still took another 4 weeks to get an actual diagnosis.  I was referred to IU by a GI doc and was lucky to be given her as a doc. My tumor was 5.7x5.5 cm and was located in my right lobe.  2 weeks later she resected my liver and my gallbladder.  It's been a long road, but I feel so much better than a year ago and actually have hope again.

Please, keep looking into help and solutions. Do not just take the advice of one doctor, get second and third opinions.   Keep fighting. And please don't give up hope.

Sue

Today is a new day. Congratulations, you are already a survivor!

Re: What a relief!

Great news Sue! My husband had shoulder surgery a month ago and the Docs were kind of concerned about the long recovery period and quality of life issues since he has this cancer and whether it was something he really wanted to deal with. I just said as far as the cancer goes he is doing so well that he is more concerned and bothered by his shoulder than the cancer so I guess he's doing great. A year ago he really wasn't thinking about his shoulder as you obviously weren't about your knees. Best wishes for a speedy recovery! Enjoy your great news and Happy Holidays!   Mary

Re: What a relief!

Sue,
Thank you for getting back.  We live in New Jersey near Philadelphia.  Have been to "cancer" hospitals and they do not seem  optimistic on doing any operations.  His tumor is roughly 1cm larger in both directions than yours.  I am constantly scouting alternatives and different facilities as going the chemo only route is not an option for him.  I would sure like to hear a doctor tell him that they would take the tumor out!  We have an appointment at the University of Penn coming up so we will see how that goes.

Again, many congrats to you on the wonderful news you posted.

God's blessings,
Karen

Wishing all God's blessings!

Re: What a relief!

Karen,
My girlfriend who passed on 11/16/07 went to several hospitals in the
Camden/Philly area.  The experience found Dr. Alfant in Cooper to be
excellant in stent placement through ERCP, and percutaneous procedures
Julio C. Otazo, M.D. was great in setting up her drain ports
and had a compassionate caring and positive bed sid manner.
Over at HUP Dr. Drebin is a star at removing these types of tumors,
but sadly her disease had been too far progressed for resection.
She was diagnosed in July.
My prayers are with you as your husband battles this insidious disease.

Re: What a relief!

Thank you all for your good wishes!  Time is counting down...I'm off to the surgery center in about 15 minutes. Can you believe I am nervous after all I have been thru with this cancer?

Karen,

During another conversation I had with my doctor, she told me she had taken out tumors up to 10 cm. Now, I am NOT saying she could or could no do anything for your husband.  IU Med is not just a "cancer treatment center".  It is a learning and teaching hospital that is known around the world as a leader in medical research and treatment. But, I have no doubt that there are other extremely good centers out east...Sloan Kettering (which is where my doc took her residency) is, of course, extremely top rated.

I wish you the best of luck.  I am grateful for all your good thoughts and will check back in as soon as I feel up to it. I look forward to feeling better!!!

Thanks,
Sue

Today is a new day. Congratulations, you are already a survivor!

Re: What a relief!

Sue,
Good luck on your knee surgery. Of course you are nervous. I still get nervous going to the dentist and that is far better than knee surgery. You will be out running about soon. Until then take it easy and enjoy worrying about something other than cc.

Kris

Cancer is a word, not a sentence.

36 year old patient with buckets of hope