I just wanted to say hello and I understand the feelings you are going through right now. I'm a cc patient myself and recently diagnosed. After surgery at Mayo to remove a little over half of my left liver node, I'm still waiting on two of the laproscopic incisions to heal so that I can start chemo. I chose to do chemo even with a "huge" 2.2 cm clean margin, no evidence of mets, 6 out of 6 clean hilar lymph nodes and no nural or venous invasion found at pathology. (This cancer can spread not only through lymph nodes but also along nerve pathways and blood pathways). Why, when there's no evidence at this time, that chemo does anything to keep the cancer from returning after curative intent surgery? My Mayo oncologist said very simply, without me asking, that if it were he in my place, he'd do the chemo and if it was his mother or sister, he'd be urging them to do it also. He has no skin in the game.....that is....he is not going to be the oncologist administering the chemo (home oncologist will do that), so this was his honest opinion. That, along with the 50% odds he gave us for the CC to come back, the decision was made. It wasn't an easy decision...but now that I've made it, I want to get on with it. I don't want this stuff to come back and then say, "Why didn't I do chemo?" I've seen odds of this coming back ranging from 50% to 75% (the latter being the statistic shown more for intrahepatic, which is the kind I have), but my oncologist said 50%, so since I like the better number I'm going with it.
As to the statistics concerning surgery. I am a diabetic and obese (I hate that word), so along with the usual numbers about morbidity, etc, the weight and diabetes were factored in also. Still, I was told that the percentages for complications for each of the issues concerning surgery and recovery were about 3-5% at worst, nothing like the numbers you were told. But, every surgery is different. Mine was pretty straight forward. Still, I would echo the advice of others on this discussion board.....get a 2nd and 3rd, or even more opinions.
As to chemo before having surgery. My surgeon mentioned that they were starting to look at doing chemo before surgery more often, but she didn't feel that I needed to do that and she was prepared to go ahead the next day with surgery if I was. If I WAS?.....oh goodness, I told her that was why I was THERE. If my tumor had been still larger, (it was 5.3 cm or so), then maybe she would have said chemo first, because I've read a lot of posts here about people doing chemo to try to shrink the tumor or tumor load before surgery, in some cases, to even make the surgery possible.
Coming to the CC Foundation was the best thing I could have done for myself. At first, I just gleaned the data/facts, .....the stories often made me cry...the statistics made me cry.....when someone said something nice it made me cry. Okay....yes, I do wear my heart on my sleeve and have been known to cry even at commercials. But, when I finally posted my own story and had some responses, I was made welcome and realized that there were people who "get it" and when they tell you that what you're feeling is something most everyone here has felt at one time or another, it gives you something to cling to. Hang in there.....and keep pushing until you get some answers that make sense.
"Just for today, I can get through anything." I'm a cancer survivor, not a doctor. The opinions I state are my own, based on my personal experiences. As always, talk to your doctor about your concerns and treatment.