I'm in Ottawa.
My wife got diagnosed with extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma in April 2011 at the age of 44. She had Whipple surgery in July 2011, followed by 2 months of 5FU chemo-radiation and 4 months of Gemcitabine/Cisplatin chemo. She is currently in remission. She received all her treatments at The Ottawa Hospital.
Here's how she got diagnosed:
She went to ER with unbearable abdominal pain in the upper right quadrant. She wasn't visibly jaundiced. Ultrasound showed dilatation of the common bile duct. ERCP found a tight stricture in the intra-pancreatic portion of the CBD. The brushing biopsy came back as suspicious for adenocarcinoma. CT and MRI ruled out pancreatic cancer. EUS was the final test that led to surgery; EUS was highly suggestive of cholangiocarcinoma. The final pathology report done after Whipple confirmed the dx. Extrahepatic CC, stage IIB (T3/N1/M0), 2 positive nodes out of 15, microscopically positive margins.
Medical history prior to cancer:
My wife had recurrent, intermittent digestive issues for as long as I remember (20 years). She had trouble digesting fatty foods, raw fruits and veggies. I know she mentioned her digestive issues to our family doctor on a few occasions. The GP never ordered any tests or investigations. To be fair, I don't think my wife was persistent enough in her complaints (she is not the type who complains about minor irritants). Our surgeon told us that digestive issues are very common in the general population; the fact my wife had them doesn't mean they caused her cancer.
Lostandscared, I'm very sorry you had to find us. The best tip I can give you is to live one day at a time and not look too far ahead.
My best wishes to you and your boyfriend.