March 11, 2009 at 1:56 am #27084barbaraParticipant
Michelle, I have cc and my daughter is a teacher, too, with two little boys. Your work will keep you going. Cry a lot for awhile and then you will cry less and enjoy your days with him. It took us a month or so to stop crying and enjoy making memories.March 10, 2009 at 7:51 pm #27083marionsModerator
Michelle….I am sorry to say that I do not know of Prof. Krige. In fact, I believe that you are the very first member located in South Africa. Do you know which Hospital Dr. Krige is affiliated with? If so, it might help to inquire about his reputation in treating Cholangiocarcinoma/bile duct patients. Also, do you have something like the “medical society?” This would be a good place to inquire about other physicians familiar with this disease which, compared to other cancers, is considered to be rare. You would definitely want more then one opinion in re: to diagnoses and subsequent treatment. Good luck and please, stay in touch.
MarionMarch 10, 2009 at 3:53 pm #27082devoncatParticipant
Welcome to the site. CC is a devasting disease, but there is sometimes hope. I wish your father the best of luck with the specialists and I am sure they will find a treatment plan that is best for your father.
And you will feel overwhelmed, but we are all here for you.
KrisMarch 10, 2009 at 8:41 am #27081
Do you have any info on Prof Krige. I have gleaned some stuff from the internet? But information is limited.
Our appt is on the 24th of March at 10.30.
MichelleMarch 10, 2009 at 8:08 am #27080
Thank you for all the words of encouragement. My dad will be seen by Prof Krige at UCT Med School in Cape Town, South Africa. I have a sister who is a nurse who is sharing the journey with me and my mom. I have 2 brothers one who lives in Johannesburg which is a 2 hour plane ride away and another one is a recovering addict ( we are watching him like a hawk and trying to give him as much support as well. I am not used to forum discussions and this is my first time i have turned to a forum for support. Thank you, thank you, thank you! MichelleMarch 10, 2009 at 4:03 am #27079tiapattyMember
Just wanted to say welcome, we certainly are becoming a very international club.
I understand your anxiety about work, focusing was very difficult for me and I was lucky to have a very understanding employer. I am a librarian and summer is typically slow so it was not such a big deal for me to take some time off when my mother worsened and other days I would work but not be very functional but I used to be a teacher and I know how intense it can be and how you can’t really decide to just get through the day since nothing in the room happens unless you make it happen, it requires a lot of energy.
Do you have other family members who can share in caring for your father?
PattyMarch 10, 2009 at 2:05 am #27075kirstenParticipant
My father was also diagnosed, 6 months ago, in September, just a few days before his 70th birthday. I too, am a teacher! We seem to be kindred spirits, so I felt I just had to write, even though I haven’t visited this site in a while! The best advice I can offer is what was told to me when my dad was diagnosed – to take things slowly and in pieces, and let your mind “wrap around” things bit by bit. I always thought if something were to happen to a member of my family and one of them were diagnosed with cancer, I would go on the Internet and research, research, research. (I am a science teacher, after all.) Instead, I found that I couldn’t bring myself to do that. What little research I did do, I limited to VERY reputable cancer institutes, and I tried only to look for stories of hope. I just couldn’t face anything more at that time.
So, here is a story of hope for you! For my dad, the initial prognosis sounded so grim. His GI doctor didn’t paint a very rosy picture, nor did he offer much hope. My dad got a second opinion at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, and as it turned out, he was a candidate for removal of the tumor. His surgery was performed on October 2nd, and went better than anyone ever expected. His tumor, which was very small, and contained in the common bile duct, was removed. All lymph nodes were clean and clear. There was no evidence of metastatic disease. He went home to recover, and returned for a follow-up 6 weeks after surgery. All reports were perfect. He is currently CANCER FREE! He returns for a 2nd follow-up MRI one week from today, and of course there is fear of a recurrence, but he looks and feels terrific, and I believe we will return from this visit with a clean bill of health as well! (If you’d like to read the journal of his story, I invite you to visit his Caring Bridge site, http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/gordonvaagen)
My prayers for you and your father as you take this journey. Do not feel as though you have lost him. Every day is a gift, and none of us knows how many more we will be given. Take each one and celebrate.March 9, 2009 at 10:41 pm #27078darlaParticipant
I too want to welcome you and say that although I am sorry you had to come here, you have found the right place to be when dealing with this monsterous cancer. You will find everyone on this site more than willing to help, support or just listen to you when you need to vent. I will be hoping for the best for your Dad, you and the rest of your family.
DarlaMarch 9, 2009 at 8:18 pm #27077brookerpParticipant
Michelle – welcome, so sorry you found us under the circumstances, but you are in the right place for support. My dad was diagnosed when he was 71 also and I am a teacher too! (small world huh?) Please know that you will find a wealth of knowledge of this site along with friendship that will get you through the days ahead.
Hoping to hear from you soon!
Smiles through tears,
PatsyMarch 9, 2009 at 8:03 pm #27076marionsModerator
Michelle….I would like to follow all these wonderful people in welcoming you to this site. If I may ask…where is your Dad being treated presently, and who is the specialist you will be seeing, soon?
Sending tons of good wishes your way,
MarionMarch 9, 2009 at 1:26 pm #27074lainyParticipant
Hello Michelle and welcome to the best little club in the world that no one wishes to join. Here, you are NOT alone. You will find that after the initial onset of feeling totally helpless and the shock that this is happening, you will become angry and that brings strength, the strength to fight. You will need to become a strong advocate for your dad by taking notes and seeing that he gets the best care even if it requires second and third opinions. You have come to the right place to cry, vent ask or to help others by telling of your own journey. We try to be optomistically realistic! Good luck, and all our thoughts are with you.March 9, 2009 at 1:13 pm #27073duke0929Member
we are all to familiar with the feelings you are going through and its horrible, but you must keep pushing forward for your dads sake and yours..normal is something in the past ….dad hasnt gone anywhere so make everyday special as hard as it is and keep fighting, always keep fighting ……never quit and never take no for an amswer……ronMarch 9, 2009 at 1:02 pm #27072
Thank you, everyone. We are in Cape Town, South Africa – It’s reassuring to have your support. Dad is due to see a specialist soon. MichelleMarch 9, 2009 at 12:57 pm #27071cherbourgParticipant
I learned many years ago that NORMAL IS ONLY A SETTING ON A DRYER!!!
You are in very good company here and we are all here for you. My Mom (77) has CC and I’m going through the same things you are. Sometimes it’s just enough to know you aren’t the only person dealing with something.
I highly recommend the 5 minute rule. Do 5 minutes then do the next 5 minutes.
If you need help or support we are ALL ONLY A KEYSTROKE AWAY!!!
Take care you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
PamMarch 9, 2009 at 12:44 pm #27070
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