My Father, Jeff Staples, died of cholangiocarcinoma in October 1995 at age 37. Dad had chronic ulcerative colitis for 20 years, was diagnosed with primary sclerosing cholangitis in 1994 and was put on the list for a liver transplant in January 1995. When a match was found in July 1995 (despite many invasive monitoring tests for during these months), the transplant surgeon discovered cancer and the surgery was not performed. Unfortunately, he had already received immunosuppressant drugs in preparation for the transplant surgery and his cancer was non-operable.
In the three months that we had together after the cancer diagnosis, we made the most magic we could. We took one last summer trip to Disneyland, felt posh for a few days at the Hotel del Coronado, spent countless hours together at the hospital and then, three days before we had to say goodbye for the last time, I got to introduce Dad to his first grandbaby (my daughter, Kayla).
It was very difficult for us at the time we went through this to understand how Dad’s cancer escaped detection and also that it killed him so quickly. I think it’s wonderful that this resource now exists to educate and support those dealing with this specific type of cancer.