Topic: Searching for Dr. in Greece

Hi my name is Stamatina and I feel very blessed to have stumbled upon this discussion board. My father was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma 3 days ago in Athens, Greece. He is in his 80s and even though my brother and I live in the States (North Carolina and Las Vegas) he is very much against coming here for treatment. Does anyone know of any doctors that specialize in cholangiocarcinoma in Athens, Greece?

Thank you and sending all of you positive thoughts and energy from Las Vegas!

Re: Searching for Dr. in Greece

Dear Stamatina, welcome to our wojderful family but sorry to hear about your Father.
I found this note below and hope it helps.

At times we have requests from our international members to help find a physician in their country. 

Greece:  Dr. Nomikos, MD, FACS, General Surgery, Surgical Oncology:
nomikosj@otenet.gr

Is he otherwise healthy to withstand any treatments? It is so hard to be so far away.
BTW my Sister has lived in Summerlein in Vegas for many years.
Pleae do keep us updated as we truly care.

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: Searching for Dr. in Greece

Dear Lainy,
Thank you for your quick reply, I will forward this information to my brother who is currently in Greece. Yes, he is healthy to withstand treatments. I will keep you updated as to his status. I live in Henderson, NV. which is on the opposite side of where your sister lived. The debate here still goes on about which side of the valley is best to live in but really both areas are great. It is so comforting to find this forum which as I've found after reading many of the stories, is filled with angels and superheroes. Will keep you posted and sending you much much positive energy from LV!

Re: Searching for Dr. in Greece

Hi Everyone,
I hope my email finds all of you very well. I haven't written for awhile because Vinny's situation has gotten rapidly worse unfortunately over the last month. I am back in the States but my family which is caring for him now have been updating me on his daily status. The good news is he is definitely surrounded by people who love him, family friends, neighbors are all visiting and trying to keep his spirits up. I have a question regarding the placement of stents. He hasn't placed them yet and yesterday my family noticed that his skin started to appear more yellowish. The doctor had said about 3 weeks ago that when he starts exhibiting signs of jaundice, that is when the stents should be placed. His billirubin level now measures at 6.95 MG-DL. Do the stents help with his pain management or can the pain be controlled with oral pain meds alone? Also if we assume that he is in the final stages of this will the pain be to much to be controlled with pain meds? is that why the doctor had said we should place the stents? At this point his pain is being controlled pretty well with the meds and he is also on Xanax to help control his anxiety. The one very good thing is that he is in his home surrounded by people who love him. At this point I think it is about trying as best as we can to keep his spirits up and to keep him as comfortable as possible. My fear about bringing him to hospital now to place the stents is that he is so weak and I don't know if the whole process and procedure may be to much for him. My family fears that he may pass because of the physical strain on him. Also the hospitals in Greece unfortunately are not the most optimal and Vinny is in his 80s and has always been someone who is very comfortable and happy in his home. I wish I had a more positive email to share with all of you. Your support throughout this process has been tremendous and I thank all of you for your love and advice and prayers.

Re: Searching for Dr. in Greece

Stamatina....the stent will reduce his bilirubin which in turn causes the yellowing of the skin; it is unlikely for it to reduce your father's pain.  It would be best to have a physician evaluate Vinny's physical status before undergoing this procedure.  I have learned that pain can be difficult to control however; there are plenty of medications available to help ease this problem.
Please remember though that opoids also diminish lucidity hence your Dad may be less responsive when greater doses are administered, but ultimately it is the patient's comfort that takes precedence.
Statima, who is there to help?  You have mentioned your loving family and friends however; is a physician working closely with everyone?  If not then you may not want to rule out hospitalization for your father.  So, I would keep my options open in this regard.
As long as your Dad is comfortable in his home and has adequate support, things should work out with close supervision by a physician.  Does Greece offer some type of medical support by an organization similar to Hospice? 
Please, continue to reach out to medical personnel and to the great members of this site.  We are in this together.
Hugs,
Marion

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Searching for Dr. in Greece

Hi Marion,
Thank you for your quick reply. My mom, my cousins, aunts and uncles are taking care of my dad. Also there is a woman who has been hired to physically assist with him. He cannot walk to the bathroom anymore so she makes sure that he is changed and clean and also sponge bathes him. She is great and handles him with lots of care and dignity. My brother who lives in North Carolina and I are very lucky to have all these wonderful people in our lives. I get daily updates from my mom and from my Aunt Eleni (Vinny's brother's wife) who is assisting my mom and who lives in Greece. She has moved in with my mom, they are very close like sisters. On Monday, that is tomorrow, his doctor will come by the house to assess whether or not he is strong enough to get stents and whether or not they will benefit him. Vinny is very thin and weak and this disease seems to be progressing very rapidly. I thought that the stents would help with the pain but perhaps I was wrong on this one. At this point like you said Marion it is about Vinny's comfort. I realize that he probably won't last very long now, weeks maybe given my Aunt Eleni's assessment. My family has said that his skin is starting to yellow and he is very thin. He also doesn't have any appetite. I am a Christian and I find a lot of strength in faith and prayer. I am praying for him now and know he will soon be in a better place. Thank you so much for your continuing support and prayers. The one question my family members in Greece wanted to ask is given that Vinny is in his 80s, that he's jaundiced and very weak, how long would he have to live roughly if he did the stents? Any feedback on this question would be greatly appreciated and thanks again!

Re: Searching for Dr. in Greece

Dear Stamatina, I am so sorry about Vinny and I can picture him so well because of how you described him before. My husband had stents and I do not believe they ease pain. They allow the bile to flow easily so that the Jaundice leaves. Other wise this terrible itching begins and it is awful. I am glad your Aunt Eleni moved in with Mom but where is she getting her Medical information from? The worst part about the Meds for pain is that if not given those meds now,  it will be harder to control the pain later.
I have an article about the 10 steps to watch for when the end is near. if you e mail me I will gladly email them to you. They can be very helpful. Remember the most important thng is to make Vinny as comfortable as you can and that means pain Meds. Is any Medical personal helping the family?

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: Searching for Dr. in Greece

Stamatina......what a wonderful support team your dear Dad has – a wonderful family and friends – just as it should be at a time like this.  So sorry, but I don't know how long your Dad will live - not sure that anyone can accurately predict that - but the physician will be your best guide in answering this question.  Your family may also want to ask: will we be able to reach you and where?  Whom do we call in the middle of the night, if so needed?  What other symptoms may we expect?  Is there something we can prepare for in advance? 

The members on our site (I believe) are the finest, caring, and experienced people one could wish to meet hence; I am hoping for others to chime in and share their thoughts with you. 
In all of this it is important to cherish this special time.  Living each day, minute for minute, is a wonderful way of cherishing the wonders of our Universe. Enjoy the the love you have for each other and take things one memory at a time.
Hugs to you and your entire family, and a special hug for Vinni.
Marion

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER