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Fabulous news. Love to see that graph going south!!
Matt, This is fabulous news. Such a significant drop in your CA 19-9. Reading this made my day. Keep up the good work.
So excited to hear of your decision to try Keytruda. I look forward to seeing your positive posts on how it is working. My husband Ron is in a similar situation as you. His CT scan shows no evidence of a recurring cancer but his blood work numbers are elevated. His CA 199 is 110 but his Alkaline Phosphatase is over 500. Billirubin is hovering around 2.2.
He is now going to his oncologist on a monthly basis for blood work. He is very blessed to be an 8 year survivor. He has a permanent stent which now appears to be causing some problems with a slight blockage. Next step will be to get it cleaned out.
We live in Midlothian, VA so we are near you. Most of his cancer treatment has been at Sloan Kettering with follow-up care at Virginia Cancer Institute.
Sincere best wishes to get rid of this cancer and have many wonderful years with your family.
Fabulous news — keep up the good work!!marions wrote:Nancy….so nice to see you back on this site, but baffled as well by the recurrence of this cancer. I think the majority of us have a tendency to focus on the CA 19-9 tumor markers, as it provides something “concrete”, but it can be misleading as the rise can be related to other factors as well. But, then you know that already.
I am wishing for total success with the completed treatment and that you can put this behind you again.
Marion, you are exactly right and the doctor kept trying to drill that in my head. He told me several times to not get wrapped up in that CA 19-9 number. He said the permanent stent can cause a little inflamation that can influence the numbers. He implied that could be a new “normal” for Ron. More importantly, we need to watch the number and see if it continues to go up.
NancyLainy wrote:Dear Nancy, in one way it was so good to see you but in another way not so happy about the news. BUT, it sounds like this return was caught early. I am curious if any of the DOCs mentioned cyber knife? All Teddy had was some radiation to bring the tumor below 6cm. I am hoping this is just a bump in the road and I know you will keep us updated. Sending you both the best!
Good Morning Lainy,
No further treatment suggested at this time because there is nothing to see. We were told there has to be a tumor or mass for the cyber knife. CT scan shows no evidence of cancer and the narrowing of the bile duct has been corrected with stent. All doctors are in agreement to watch and wait now. Ron looks good and feels good so we are trying to be positive with this new bump in the road. I will post news on his next round of blood work. Thanks to all for caring…
NancySeptember 16, 2014 at 1:25 pm in reply to: Biliary Stenting and the Biliary Emergency Card: important #84396
Just printed this card to keep with us at all times. What a great source of information. Thanks again for all the information this wonderful website provides.
Your story is quite unique as well. From the beginning all doctors thought Ron’s narrowing of the bile duct was due to scar tissue since the CT scan was crystal clear. Do you have a permanent stent? What sort of maintenance do you have to do to keep it from becoming clogged? I need to do some research on this. We have an appointment next week with our gastro doctor to get his opinion.
Thanks for sharing your story…
NancyLainy wrote:Dear Nancy, I am so sorry to read what you both are going through. I can only tell you about my Teddy who had a Whipple surgery where they got clear margins and his returned to the same place 3 years later and they did radiation to shrink it followed by Cyber Knife. It then returned to the same place 2 years after the C.K. I have never heard that after 7 years, one is safe. We do have a few members at 10 years and I know one who is at 15 years. At least they have a plan for Ron so you dust yourselves off and get up the strength you had before and you will beat this again. Please keep us posted and I am wishing you more than the best! You never know how strong you are until “strong” is the only choice you have!
Thanks for your response. Did Teddy’s cancer show up anywhere else when it returned to the original site?
Nancymarions wrote:Nancy…..you can count on our thoughts and prayer to come Ron’s way. I am stunned to hear of the current developments seven years out from diagnoses, but hopeful that it can be conquered.
I am wondering, dear Nancy, had you consulted with an interventional radiologist as well?
Yes, we met with an interventional radiologist at Sloan Kettering. She is the one that inserted the permanent stent. Ironically, she was the one most surprised by the return after seven years. After the biopsy, she spent a long time with me convinced we had nothing to worry about. Pathology report came back the next day with a very few cancerous cells and we were all very surprised.
Thanks for your thoughts and prayers…
The last month has been quite a roller coaster. Two trips to Sloan Kettering and one local hospital stay in between because of high fevers due to infection. A drainage tube was inserted and apparently all of the bile ducts were not flowing properly because the drainage tube was slightly off. The plan of action was to get the bile flowing and they would insert a balloon into the bile duct to correct the area that was narrowed.
All doctors in Richmond and New York were certain that the cancer had not returned and the partial blockage was due to scar tissue because NOTHING showed on two CT scans and two biopsies showed nothing. Not to mention we were told this cancer does not return after seven years. Well I guess the third biopsy was the kicker because it showed a very few cancerous cells at the narrowing of the bile duct where the original resection occurred. There is no mass or tumor but the cells appear to be “angry”. The cancer cells are localized. The drainage tube was removed and a permanent stent was inserted in place of the balloon. The fifty million dollar question now is how do we treat this. All doctors agree this is a “medical mystery and “medical marvel”. We have been told when this cancer returns it always shows up somewhere else as a mass or tumor and usually within three years.
Our oncologist in New York was quite positive and said with it being localized and such a very small amount of microscopic cancer cells, chemo and radiation could possibly eradicate this. Our Virginia doctor was not as optimistic saying we have absolutely nothing to compare this with so we do not know how it will respond to treatment. Not even sure it is a recurrence or a new cancer. Both oncologist have made several conference calls to other major cancer hospitals and it continues to be a mystery. Ron is not a candidate for a second resection because he had a complete one seven years ago.
Ron is scheduled to start chemo on September 24 and his medicine will be:
Gemcitabine 1000 mg/m2 IV days 1 and 8
Cisplatin 25mg/m2 IV days 1 and 8
Duration: 21 days x 4 cycles
We will be returning to New York following his treatment to discuss radiation.
Certainly not the path we were expecting to travel seven years out but would appreciate any thoughts on the above. Please keep Ron in your positive thoughts and prayers. The people on this website are always in my prayers.
Sent Ron’s test results to Sloan Kettering this week and he is being admitted on Sunday for stent insertion and further testing. We head out on a train from Virginia to New York early Sunday morning.
Please keep Ron in your prayers and positive thoughts.
CONGRATULATIONS SUE!!!! I so look forward to your yearly update. My husband’s check-up follows yours and both of you have been truly blessed. Live life to the fullest. Hugs!!
Music to my ears. I don’t post often but log on frequently. Cheers to you and this wonderful milestone. May there be many more for you and for the other dear people on this website.
Nancylisacraine wrote:Nancy and Ron, wow!!!! Congrats!!!!!
Where did you go for treatment ?
We went to Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York.