Topic: My Cancer Story
Hi folks. My name is Ken, I'm 59 years old, I live in Vancouver, Canada, and in 2009 I was diagnosed with liver cancer.
I had to undergo surgery and later chemotherapy.
Earlier in 2009, I was feeling a lot of pain in my stomach, and I walked up to the hospital not knowing what it was. The ER Dr. didn't know what it was so I had to undergo some tests. It turned out to be a kidney stone. This was soon broken up and removed. But the tests also showed something on my liver. More tests showed it was a tumour, 3.2 cm in size. I got into surgery within 2 months. The surgeon cut half of my liver out, plus my gallbladder and various bits of bile ducts. That was Jan 12 2010. I was in hospital for 10 days. I lost a lot of weight and got quite weak. I got pneumonia requiring oxygen and strong antibiotics. My bile ducta collapsed, and a stent was put in to hold it open. It got blocked up, but that got fixed up.
Tests showed that the tumour was actually a gall bladder cancer - cholangiocarcinoma. Scans showed some questionable spots in my chest as well, but they couldn't tell what all of them were.
After I got home, I had to rest for several days. Foods gradually progressed to solids. I had a drainage tube coming out of my stomach, I think for a least a month, The surgeon took it out. I was off work for about 10 months. Late in the year I had a CT Scan and was told that the cancer had indeed spread. Some of the spots in my chest were in fact metastases. I was given Cisplatin and Gemcitabine. I could only tolerate them for about 3 months. I worked during the first weeks of the chemo, but then had to go off again because of exhaustion. However, the tumours gradually disappeared even though I'd only had a short course of chemo. I saw my oncologist on April 23, and he told me everything looked good, as it has for the last 2 or 3 scans. Now he wants me to get a CT Scan every 6 months -- I'd been getting them every 3 months. I have to say I feel less stressed now.
I also saw the surgeon once again last week. He had my CT Scan results from a couple of weeks ago, and confirmed that there weren't any tumours. I was happy to hear that.
At one point, I was told I had 6 months to live -- but that was about 2 1/2 years ago.
Also in 2010 I had a prostate biopsy. As it turned out I had prostate cancer as well. I was told that it was slow moving. The Dr. for this cancer told me they would just do active surveillance, because the Cholangiocarinoma was far more dangerous. Meanwhile, the prostate cancer got more advanced. Just recently, I started chemotherapy for that - brachytherapy was initially planned, but my anatomy wouldn't allow safe insertion of the needles and radioactive beads.
Another disease that I had was Hep C, and I'd had this for many years. Just recently, my liver specalist said that I didn't have any evidence of Hep C in my body any more! This rarely happens, and he was very happy when he told me this. He'll be double-checking this result with another test in about 6 months, though.
Finally, I can tell you I've changed my eating habits. I eat more healthily, with more natural foods, including organics, plus vitamins and supplements, I've been on this regime for 2 years now. Another thing I've been doing is cycling and lifting weights -- exercise improves survival.
Good luck to everyone!