Topic: Running Out of Options

My husband Frank (age 44) was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma in February 2005.  He underwent surgery at Columbia Presbyterian in NYC in April 2005, endured radiation and 5FU for 7 weeks, followed by Gemzar and Oxyplatin which ended in December 2005.  As of February 2006 his CAT scan was clean.  On April 8, 2006 his CAT scan indicated 3 areas of cancer outside the liver.  He then underwent a cholangiogram that revealed areas of blockage within the liver, all diseased with cancer.  He now has the drainage tube to help relieve the liver and reduce the billiruben (in the 5's range). 

Eating solids has become extremely painful and can anyone tell us if it's due to the liver beginning to fail and be able to break down solid food?  Does anyone have suggestions after going through the same?

Also, he will begin palliative chemo on April 18th.  Does anyone have other suggestions for us to try as we are getting down to the wire for treatment?

Re: Running Out of Options

I am sorry that I have no answers for  you, but I too have a beloved friend with a drain tube and palliative care. She is having digestive issues. I am hoping to find out how your husband is doing now. Did the digestive issues improve? My friend's seem to be better on some days, and then she has trouble again for about a week.  I hope your husband's comfort measures are helping. --Charlotte

Re: Running Out of Options

I'm not sure if not wanting to eat anything solid comes from the liver or just from the disease itself.  I certainly wish I knew because Sam's interest in any kind of solid food started deteriorating at the beginning of this year and has progressively gotten worse.  Your husband's case sounds very similar to Sam's except that he is so much younger.  Age certainly doesn't appear to be a factor with cc.  I wish now that we had not done the chemo treatments because we certainly did not get any benefit but you always have to try anything that might work; sometimes it does.  He just never recovered from the irinotecan treatment that he had on May 18th; it was so tough on him.  He was working full time until he received that treatment and he worked only 1/2 day after that.  We are just trying to manage the pain right now and that is very difficult.  If I can provide you with any other info, please contact me; my e-mail address is bejohnson@rocktenn.com.  Miracles do happen; keep praying.