Topic: New to the Boards
My father-in-law was diagnosed with a Klatskin tumor the end of December 2011. He spent several days in the hospital with Pancreatitis (a complication of the ERCP), then developed Cholangitis because of the stent placed during the ERCP. His liver resection was January 11, 2012. It was a success! The surgeon removed his gallbladder, the common bile duct, and the right lobe of his liver. He found clear margins on both sides where the tumor was located.
His recovery was slow. He went home with a JP drain, his appetite was poor, and he lost 24 pounds. Just as we made headway in one area, something else would crop up. His surgeon finally recommended he eat 3,000 calories a day because his blood work showed malnutrition. It was very hard for him to eat much for months. 8 weeks after surgery, his incision reopened. It took another 2 months for that to close completely. In that time, he has slowly gained back about half of the weight that he'd lost.
We are just now starting appointments with the oncologist. The surgeon told us they wouldn't be able to do anything for him in the shape he was in right after surgery, so we just focused on his recovery.
We just received the results of his first post-surgery PET scan. Now he has an inoperable tumor on the top of his liver (between the liver and the diaphram), and a strand on the right side of his liver that the oncologist cannot identify. The tumor on the top of his liver is almost certainly cancer, because of the density. We are scheduled for a needle biopsy on Monday.
My husband and I are in shock. We're trying to get our heads around this new information. We just had so much hope that it was out of his system and gone.
I mainly wanted to say "Hello" and offer to help with advice for caregivers who are looking for tips on helping a loved one recover from a liver resection. I found the discussion boards helpful when I was learning about cholangiocarcinoma, and came back every time we had a new hurdle during his recovery. I just imagine I'll be relying more heavily on them, and you all, with this new development.