Topic: My introduction

Hello all, my name is Carolyn and I'm 56 years old, a seven year breast cancer survivor and I was diagnosed August 2013 with gallbladder CA, unresectable, a few liver mets, Stage 4.  Prior to diagnosis, I had  what I thought were minor, common GI symptoms like GERD, heartburn.  Early May, 2013 I had what seemed like a classic gallbladder attack, (a first) and an ER work up was unremarkable.  Followed up with my internist, started over-the-counter meds as needed.  Had a colonoscopy which was fine in early June.  By late June I was feeling worse, had upper abdominal pain, poor appetite and fullness after meals.  My internist did more bloodwork, found H. pilori and I took two weeks of antibiotics which made me feel worse.  Still feeling bad, I saw her again and she ordered Ultrasound which told us what was going on with my gallbladder.  My breast oncologist, affiliated with Sloan Kettering helped us find the group at Sloan and Dr. Abou-Alfa is now my doctor.  I started chemo (Gemcitabine and Cisplatin) on September 9, 2013, along with starting a clinical trial of MEK 162.  Six months into treatment, I'm doing well.  The tumor has shrunk, mets have also shrunk and in general I feel well.  My husband has been a wonderful support, as has our only son who is in college.  I am so fortunate to have wonderful friends through community involvement and church and I'm getting through the challenges with my faith, family and friends lifting me up as I go.  I am finding now that my emotions are more up and down, as the routine continues and I tire more easily.  I was very happy to learn about this group because I am ready to get to know others who are in a similar situation.  Thanks for listening to my story, and for sharing yours with me.  I'm new to discussion boards, have never posted on one, but here I go!

Carolyn

Re: My introduction

Carolyn....I have responded to you in your duplicate posting.  No problem on this end, just wanted to let you know.
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: My introduction

Carolyn,
Welcome to this wonderful group. I was diagnosed in 2010 with stage IV ICC. I am treated at The Cleveland Clinic and love my medical team. My faith has been my rock along with my family, friends and all the beautiful people on his site. Please call me anytime if you would like to talk or have any questions.
Lisa Craine
330-903-6868

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: My introduction

Hi Lisa!  Thanks for your response and offer to connect.  It is good to know there are others going through what I'm going through as it can be lonely even when surrounded by lots of caring propel and professionals!  Sounds like we both have great medical teams helping us.  My phone is 914-261-6244, perhaps we can connect during the week?  Again, thanks for reaching out to me.  Carolyn

Re: My introduction

Caring people...LOL

Re: My introduction

Marion, thanks for responding.  I am in fact in the trial you attached.  Not so tech savvy here, I don't know how to do that yet but I will learn!

Re: My introduction

Carolyn, Welcome and sorry you had to find us. I am almost 5 years cancer free!! There is HOPE!! I also had a daughter in college when diagnosed and my first question to my hero, Dr. William Chapman at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis MO. was, "will I see Cates graduate and he said "YES"!! I am proud and excited to say almost 2 years  after diagnose I did!!
I have an amazing story to share and was so honored to tell it and be asked to do a video for Barnes about it. I also was honored to tell it for Relay for Life. Please don't think I like to talk about myself but I am alive because of the love of a great family, the power of prayer, 2 strangers and Dr. William Chapman. I keep all of this on my FB page Catherine Sims Dunnagan to give HOPE!!
I am proof that there are miracles and that there is HOPE!!
Please email, friend me, or call (618-567-3247)if I can help or just need to talk.
Lots of prayers-Cathy

Re: My introduction

Cathy, yes, not thrilled about being in the "club" but so happy people are sharing their stories and hope with me!  My first thought was as yours was...I had to know I'd see our son graduate from college!  I believe I will!  Thank you for reaching out to me with prayers and your story of hope and love!

Re: My introduction

Hi Carolyn,

Welcome to the board although I am sorry that you have had reason to come here.  There are so many people on here that will share their stories and support you through your treatment.

Clare

In the stars now . . . .

Re: My introduction

Carolyn, sorry you had to join us. This roller coaster ride is definitely not for the faint of heart!
We all have our good and bad days. I've been on this ride 3 years now. Unresectable Stage 4 with mets to lymph nodes. I still have bad days, even though I am doing well living with this thing inside me.
I used Xanax for a while, but thought it might be causing a few other problems, so I quit. Don't be afraid to ask for something to help. If you are like me, you don't want to take anything MORE, but stress is not a good thing!
Sloane Kettering also has professionals to help you. Ask to speak to one. There is also a wonderful woman at the hospital. She is a minister, and we had a long, long talk. She helped me to feel better. Unfortunately, I can't remember her name. (I spent 2 years schlepping into NYC and Sloane)
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or if you need to vent. My email is kris00j@gmail.com. I don't like to post my number anymore, as I don't know who reads this forum anymore.

KrisJ
"Don't just have minutes in the day; have moments in time."
Any opinions I give are based on personal experiences, and are not based on medical knowledge. I strongly suggest receiving medical care and opinions.

Re: My introduction

I'll add another welcome. I'm 56 as well and was diagnosed just about a month after you. Glad you have a great support network. It's really key to getting through tough days. And, this forum has a lot of great support too.

Lisa

Impatient patient.