January 11, 2018 at 5:21 pm #96431herculesModerator
Taraph, welcome to our community of cancer survivors, many of us have been through what you are explaining. Scan time is a nerve wracking thing. Personally I disliked drinking the stuff before that it distracted me from thinking about the outcome. Your margins were clear, the surgeon feels confident he got all of it. It very likely will not return, and I will not cite statistics here but I will say please remain hopeful, I always held hope on hope, mine was the winning ticket, I will make it, I am not done here in this life and do not dwell on the ‘what if’s ‘ Your mother will do better if all remain positive, and she has done great so far. Just hope for the best, PatJanuary 11, 2018 at 10:29 am #96414TaraphParticipant
Hi there – this board has been such a source of information and comfort to me since my mom was diagnosed at age 70 in June of 2016. I’m happy to report that she just got a clean bill of health after her most recent quarterly scans!
Her CCA was found incidentally when liver enzymes on routine bloodwork came back elevated. Looking back, she was slightly jaundiced and she had been itchy for some time – she attributed that to allergies and the jaundice was so slight that it’s only really noticable in hindsight. Her doctor recommended an ultrasound, where they saw dilation of the duct, and led to an ERCP (which led to pancreatitis, unfortunately). The biopsy was inconclusive for cancer at that time, but they did find a 1.7 cm mass in her distal bile duct, pressing on her pancreas. Because it was so small and there was no major artery/vein involvement, she was told she was a Whipple candidate and had the surgery at MSKCC in late June, 2011 (nine days after I gave birth to my third child, so I’ll always remember the timing!). The surgery went excellently and was very short (about 3 hours – her surgeon had performed hundreds of Whipples and she also didn’t have a gallbladder already, which helped). Her recovery was relatively quick and uneventful, and the pathology report was, as her MSKCC surgeon said, in the top 10% of the pathology reports he had seen – clear margins, 27 lymph nodes removed and all clear, staged initially at 2 but changed to 1B after surgery. She completed six months of adjuvant chemo (not sure which one, but it was 3 weeks on, 1 week off for 6 months) for security purposes. She handled that great, very minimal side effects. Her scans since have been clear, but she definitely has experienced major anxiety and depression as each scan approaches. She is seeing someone about that.
My siblings, dad, and I are all thrilled with her outcome thus far but I think all of us have this feeling of, “is this going to continue?” or waiting for the other shoe to drop, since things have been so generally positive thus far (her surgeon saying the pathology report was so great was amazing to hear, but I wanted him to knock wood immediately after!).
Anyway, thank you all so much for your inspiration, knowledge, and support. You’ve been such a wonderful resource for my siblings and I.
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