Eli My first chemo was 7/22/11. I missed 2 sessions, 1 with low platelets and 1 on 12/30/11 because neutrophils were under 1. At this point my last chemo was on Jan. 20/12. I'm off now pending the surgery on Mar. 1.
tiff My tumor was first found in the left lobe. Off the PET scan they saw 3 small satellite tumors in the right lobe, they were close to the center. During my CT scan on 11/9 we could no longer see the tumors in the right side and the left lobe was shrinking. At that point the ONC had talked with the surgeon and they mentioned the " possiblity" of a future resection if we continued showing improvement. My wife and I kept that to ourselves, so's not to get everyone excited only to have it quashed later, it the improvement was not there.
I found this cancer on my own. I had discomfort after eating ( even small portions ) across my abdomen right under the rib cage. It was like when you overeat on Thanksgiving. It lasted about 2-3 hours. I then started pushing in on this area and could feel tenderness if I pushed hard enough. In mid May I was running my fingers vertically up and down my abdomen on both the stomach side and then on the liver side. At this point I felt a roundness, a hardness on the liver side. It felt kind of like a 6" Brat was laying under the skin horizontally from left to right. I knew right then that that feeling was not right. I made an appt. with my family Dr.
He felt what I felt, and ordered a CT scan, then a liver biopsy and the rest is history. I never had jaundice, no one ever suggested a gall bladder, no bile backups, no itching, nothing other than me finding the swelling. I believe God has been with me from the beginning and led me on this path to where we are today.
How many people on this board can say they found their hospital and Dr's on Facebook. My daughter posted on Facebook in late June that her Dad had liver cancer, yada, yada, yada. As we were going thru other testing looking for other locations of cancer. A friend of hers sent a message that she was an Oncology nurse and if we had any questions to contact her. Well, we did and she had worked at IU and recommended these Dr.s. My local Dr and our small town hospital had connections with another hospital in Indianapolis. And I asked my Dr. if he had heard of the Dr.s that had been recommended to me, he hadn't. I asked him if he minded if I called down there to find out things, like ins, etc. And that is how we found Dr. Helft. We love them and the hospital. Since then another lady in our church also had Dr. Helft as her Onc. Dr. and was cured of colon cancer. Thats why I say my wife and I both believe we were led to those Dr's
The chemo worked from the beginning, and I never really had a lot of reactions from the chemo. Somewhere in Sept., or Oct. I told the Onc. that "you may not believe this, but I don't feel the swelling in my liver area like I did when we started. " He said, " Sometimes chemo changes your body and not to think too much about it. " I believe that, it's not that they don't want to give you hope, but " no false hope ". For instance, I said to my wife, my seemingly successful story will not be shared with another CC patient that he might see next week, because they may feel too much elation hoping for the same results that may not occur. We all are different. He stated at one point, you could take 10 patients with the same cancer, give them all the same chemo recipe and get 10 different reactions, which is why fighting cancer is so difficult.
I have truly been blessed throughout this journey. I have asked my Onc., more than once if I really had cancer, cause I have never felt like it. Reading other stories here I so sympathize with all the suffering, and the trials and tribulations that we face.
Sorry about the length of the post, just trying to provide more info that may help others, in their healing, in their trying to understand this cancer and all cancers. It's a rough battle. Right now my roller coaster is on the top and coasting along, but at any time it may take the big plunge into the valley.
I'm thinking and praying for all of us, in our fight together against this disease.