Husband, 55 y.o. diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma

Discussion Board Forums Introductions! Husband, 55 y.o. diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma

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  • #98246
    bglass
    Moderator

    Hi Jules,

    Thank you for your update.  It is great to hear how well your husband is doing, and how positively his doctors are viewing his progress.  Your husband must be feeling relieved.

    In no way am I meaning to dampen this welcome good news, but I do want to comment on surveillance after treatment.   It is important to keep a sharp eye out for any signs of recurrence.  This includes having periodic chest-abdomen-pelvis scans (typically, from what patients report on this board, four per year during the first two years) and bloodwork, as well as alerting his doctors if anything seems amiss.

    I hope you will stay in touch.  It is always nice to hear good news stories.

    Regards, Mary

    #98233
    hercules
    Moderator

    Hello Jules, mine is not a sad story, I have remained cancer free for 13 years with no recurrence , it is possible. Every case is different so keep the faith and keep doing what you are doing. Congratulations on your recent news and scan !  Remain positive and it is awesome that his cancer markers are trending down , do things he loves and laughter is great medicine so try to have some fun as often as possible, eat healthy and keep his weight up, he can win against this cancer

    #98230
    Josmb
    Participant

    Hi all, came here to add a new chapter of our story. I confess I still don’t want to check the rest of the forum because I don’t want to read sad stories, but I want to bring some light to people who, just like us, is still fighting against cholangiocarcinoma.

    Well, my husband is great! After my last post, the results of the tomography were clear. Nothing that the oncologist said we should worry about at that moment and that 38.5 Ca 19-9 wasn’t really something to worry about (just like Mary said above, he would worry if it had doubled or something). At the end of November he siad: “If cancer wasn’t a disease with chance to come back, I woudl say you are cured.”

    Since then we didn’t have a new scan yet, but last month he had his blood collected for Ca 19-9 and  it was the lowest that it ever had been since we found out the disease. It is 26! Yay!

    His chemo ended at the end of October, and since then he didn’t have any medication at all. So I guess it is good news!

    #97739
    bglass
    Moderator

    Hi Jules,

    Welcome to our community and thank you for sharing your husband’s story.

    What is striking to me is how frequently cholangiocarcinoma is symptomless and discovered accidentally when doctors investigate other complaints.  Your husband is beyond lucky that his cancer was found in time to have surgery.  The capecitabine (xeloda) he has taken after surgery was found in a British study called BILCAP to have positive results in prolonging survival for patients post resection.

    It is essential to have close surveillance after surgery because this cancer can recur, and can do so without symptoms just like the original cancer.  Doctors have different approaches to follow-up but they should take patient views into account.  After my surgery, I had scans every three months for two years, plus monthly CA19-9 tests and quarterly metabolic panels and CBCs.  If you have the CA19-9 monthly, it is easier to see if a movement is a blip or a trend.  In my own case, I had both chemo and radiation after surgery.  My CA19-9 drifted slowly upward during treatment, then drifted downward after.  I am now -gratefully- three years past surgery.  I still have my CA19-9 checked every two months plus now two scans each year, because with this cancer, there is always risk it will come back.

    My doctors did not seem to worry about small movements in the CA19-9.  One said he only worried when there was a “doubling or tripling.”  Hopefully, in your husband’s case this is just a blip.  Fingers crossed.

    Please check out all the resources for patients and caregivers on the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation website, and keep us posted on your husband’s progress.

    Regards, Mary

    #97738
    Josmb
    Participant

    Hi  everyone, call me Jules. I am new to this forum.

     

    In March this year my husband started to feel sick. We thought it was his diverticulitis again but ended up that the ultrasound found nothing in the intestines and found a tennis ball sized tumour on the left lobe of his liver. Back then all his blood tests were normal (or relatively normal), except by the levels of ferritine (it was above 3500) and Ca 19-9 (592).  Liver enzymes were just a little bit above the normal level, what surprised the doctor. No hepatitis of any kind, no cirrhosis, no auto imune disease, no hemochromatosis. My husband doesn’t drink or smoke.

     

    As the tumour was too big even if it was benign and as my husband was in a relatively good condition, the doctor decided to do the resection of the left lobe of his liver + gallbladder + 1 local lymphnode and do the biopsy of the tumour after the operation. The operation happened in the second half of April and the biopsy confirmed it was malignant and the lymph node had metastasis (pT2pN1).

     

    He went through 8 cycles of chemotherapy (Xeloda), that ended last week. His Ca 19-9 levels were 52 in May and 31 in June. Today he went through tomography scan (we don’t know the results yet) and the blood tests  from yesterday were all normal, except by Ca 19-9 (it should be lower than 37 and his level was 38.5).

     

    Apart from the cancer, he has benign cysts on liver.

     

    Now I don’t really know what to think about it. My husband has a good appearance at the moment. Xeloda doesn’t cause hair loss, so looking at him he really doesn’t look like he is fighting against a cancer, he isn’t pale or have jaundice at all, he even gained weight during his treatment. He is still having some side effects of the chemo. But I was expecting the Ca 19-9 would be a lot lower… especially because in June (2 months after the resection) it was lower than now. I know that 31 to 38.5 is not a big difference and it is only 1.5 above the limit but still… I read somewhere that benign liver cysts can raise the levels of Ca 19-9, so I really hope that’s the reason why it is not lower. But he said he now is feeling like the same he was in March…

     

    Anyone has /had a similar story and had a happy end? I love my husband like crazy, we are married for only 2.5years and we have a 1.5 years baby. I try to stay positive as much as I can, but it breaks my heart seeing him down sometimes or seeing our baby wanting to be more with his dad and can’t because my husband is feeling unwell…

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