Another 3 months has flown by and here I am. Interesting news with this post.
Recap - my partner Ben was diagnosed with Stage IV CC in August 2010....a long journey (not surprising), but he's still hanging in there (I have a lot of history if you search on my name for those interested in details). Ben started his 3rd round of the standard protocol of Gemcitibine and Cisplatin in October. Even now as I type this nobody would look at Ben and think he was sick. While he is tired a lot, he still seems to be managing on a day to day basis.
After visiting MD Anderson in December, they recommended dropping the Cisplatin and focusing on GEM (which they called the "workhorse") to help with quality of life. The combination was really wearing Ben out - and with the Cisplatin it would mean seven hours of Chemo and fluids, fluids for two days afterwards along with shots to increase his white blood counts. So just doing GEM would free him up a bit more and not be so debilitating.
Shortly after Christmas Ben started feeling pain in his shoulder and arm - he thought he had pulled a muscle, etc. Fast forward after more tests, chiropractor (Ben's idea - clearly not the oncologist's, ;-) bone scans, spinal biopsy and another trip to MD Anderson.
Of course my first thought was "mets to the spine" which I know can happen. The biopsy seemed to indicate something but not Cholangio.
So - off to MD Anderson last week, (and now this week). Long story short - it turns out Ben also has Lymphoma! Wow - two cancers for the price of one!
Unfortunately I couldn't make the trip this week - but Ben's brother met him in Houston and I was able to Facetime (video conference) during the doctors visits - which was awesome. T
The Lymphoma doctor (Luis Fayad - amazing) was quite amazed. He said "you know - most people don't live so long with CC, so maybe you have had both cancers all along - and what they were seeing outside your liver was lymphoma and not CC". Huh.
Anyway - not conclusive; they are doing more tests this week to determine the exact type of Lymphoma - they believe it's agressive, but the doctor said he thinks they can treat it. Lymphoma has a high success rate - and our CC Oncologist at MD said he is one of the best in the business. He said "when I'm done with you, you will need to figure out how to deal with your CC, but hopefully it's contained to your liver".
So - there you have it - a whole quarter boiled down to a few rambling paragraphs. Not too much to report up until today. (besides the usual cancer drama - but that's not very exciting anymore).
More to come - I'll be back soon with an update to see how it turns out. We meet with the doctor again on Thursday (me via Facetime). All my best to all of you.
My partner Ben was diagnosed in August 2010 with non-resectable stage IV intrahepatic CC with 6-18 months prognosis. He was 51 at the time - and he is now 55.
Don't give up!